Innovate like Steve Jobs, with design thinking skills

Airbnb reportedly transformed itself from a failing start-up to a billion-dollar business through design thinking.

By U2B Staff 

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If you are a manager or CEO and would like to emulate the success of IBM, Apple and are aware of design thinking success case studies, like how accounting software firm Intuit used design thinking to boost sales by $10 million in a year, or how Airbnb transformed from being a failing start-up to a billion-dollar business, then you might already be aware of why design thinking is important to your business.

Design thinking refers to both the creativity and critical thinking used during the process of developing products and solutions.

It is a structured methodology applied by design thinkers to ideate and delivers products or services and experiences that address the latent and unmet needs of users.


The value of design thinking is echoed by the strong performance of companies like Apple, Coca Cola, IBM, Target, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Disney, and Starbucks. Results show that over the last 10 years design-led companies have maintained a significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by an extraordinary 228%.

Design thinking skills are important for almost anyone in an organisation including the CEO, product owner, and even product design.

In fact, this is a skill that should be applied and displayed in every task at every level as it prioritises tangible outcomes, allowing you to focus on finding solutions rather than fixating on obstacles and challenges.

There are many ways both organisations and individuals can learn design thinking as there are any programmes and courses offered by many reputable higher education institutions including Stanford, MIT, and Cornell.

By providing training opportunities for the people in your organisation, what you are doing is essentially equipping your employees and colleagues with highly valuable skills that allow them to think like product and solution designers.

The overarching benefits of these training workshops, boot camps, or certifications will give your organisation is the adoption of a creative, user-centric mindset at every level. This alone will have a significant positive impact on your bottom line.


There are also many online and blended learning options on offer, by both higher education institutions and MOOCs.

However, it is important to choose a programme that not only helps you build your understanding of design thinking but also teaches you how to apply design thinking methodology and build actual prototypes to solve unmet user needs and problems with ease.

If you are a designer who wants to move up in your career to become a UX professional, then a certification in this skill will be a good way to get there. You will not only be able to solve problems quickly and creatively, but also learn how to better manage your team and stakeholders.

A certification will also come in handy if you are a freelance designer or consultant as many organisations hire design thinking consultants for short-term projects. Additionally, if you work in an R&D division in your organisation, a certification in design thinking can also give your career a boost.