Design thinking vs. designing

POSTED BY Laura Jakobsen on Mar 25, 2011

This article on Fast Company a must read, especially for anyone in our industry! There is certainly a difference between design thinking and designing – let’s not blur the line.

As the article mentions, “design thinking is not fairy dust;” you do not get to skip steps to magically solve a challenge.

Design thinking is a strategic tool. It is a way of applying rigor to a process to get to a better outcome. I suggest we stop using it as a title or even as a noun. It is not a thing; it is a way of behaving and structuring a multidiscipline approach to get to bigger ideas and better ways to solve challenges in order to deliver breakthrough experiences to people.

Here are things Hornall Anderson does to make it successful:

? Establish the what, how and who:

- What are you getting to/answering?

- How are you going set the journey and leverage everyone’s talents?

- Who is the facilitator to manage the conversation on three levels: generative ideas, strategic business cases, and tactical deployment?

? Encourage the team to see different things, don’t just see the same things differently.

? Frame the journey through the consumer or customer to create a new language.

? Maintain focus, but ensure there is not tunnel vision. Design thinking is about navigating the unknown with a candle – observing and moving forward on the best discovery journey. Not a flashlight that lights up the clearest, most direct path.

Enough said – keep this article close by. You’ll be sending it out again and again.

WRITTEN BY Laura Jakobsen

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