Jan 15, 2019 in Informative

Design Thinking Essay


Contemporary design thinking has reached its peak of global recognition. Suffice to say, an expanded range of business colleges which are addressed as the world leaders in the field of educational entrepreneurship, have included design thinking in the curricula. The analyzed discipline can be defined as a coherent approach to overcoming obstacles. Design thinking is a major instrument used to conduct the verification of the company’s basic problems associated with its relationship with the consumer.  The efficiency of the result achieved with the help of design thinking is assessed as a measure of creativity. Owing to design thinking modern companies are able to evaluate the failure of certain business ideas and clarify the trends for further development.

Thus, design thinking and business leadership are two essential components of innovative activity. The principles of design thinking become the guarantor of the finest ideas shaping the market sustainability. Design thinking is a solution acquired by means of applying dynamic creative energy used to eliminate uncomfortable and sometimes unnecessary poor quality things and services. Its primary objective is to prevent the company from wasting its time, efforts, and money on the creation of new defective products and services. Generally speaking, design thinking is the key to the advanced activity of each successful agency as it identifies not only the demand patterns of the whole market but the peculiar needs of separate consumers.

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Design Thinking- Definition 

The primary definition of the design thinking identifies the term as the process of practical and creative problem-solving approach, aimed at obtaining an improved future result (Kelley & Kelley 2013). According to Tim Brown (2008), design thinking is to be defined as a separate discipline which uses design methodology and the sensitivity required to match human needs with the capabilities of the modern technology. In addition, various experts believe that design thinking is a phenomenon possible only under the condition of the continuous improvement of the skills acquired by the designer (Brown 2009). The primary goal of design thinking as a business related formation lies in serving the needs of the emerging U.S. corporations (Lockwood 2009). According to Mootee (2013), design thinking is a combination of both science and art strongly criticized due to the fact that it has been oversimplified and therefore underestimated. It allows the companies to stay in touch with the surrounding world in order to maintain the top-level of competiveness (Mootee 2013). Generally, speaking every future business leader needs to be an efficient design thinker in order to run a successful business and redefine business management pattern.  Besides, design thinking assessed competitive business strategy and the potential way of how it can convert into customer value and market opportunities. Generally speaking, design thinking is a systematized set of techniques and tools which can be successfully used to achieve business prosperity. Design thinking is often addressed as a form of out-of-the-box thinking implying original thinking, forcing the mind to go beyond the known frameworks. According to Roger Martin, the style of thinking adopted in the traditional organization, for the most part, can be identified as belonging to the inductive-deductive pattern (Martin 2009). Design thinking adds an abductive perspective to the forenamed pair suggesting that if something exists therefore it needs to be explored. Correspondingly, from a philosophical perspective, the value of design thinking and its increasingly significant impact on business primarily reflects the probabilistic model of the universe, formation of which it actively promotes. Such probabilistic model implies seeing the innovation not as an image of the world which is different from reality, but as a construct of something it could possibly appear to be in the nearest future (Martin 2009). As stated by the contemporary design thinking process postulate, the latter is can be presented throughout five major stages: emphasize, define, ideate, prototype, and test (Brown &Wyatt 2010). The forenamed stages have consequently transformed the design thinking process to become a fundamental social innovation. Many authors have noted that the process of design thinking is an iterative change of divergent and convergent approaches, analysis and synthesis. As seen in Fig.1., the distribution of the sub-processes participating in the overall design thinking process start with observation and understanding the consumers and the identification of the resulting possible options.

Figure 1. Distribution of the processes constituting design thinking. 

The most popular understanding of design thinking is a displayed in three self-contradictory areas. The first one reflects  the level of  consumer demand, the second one reflects the viability, and the third one reflects success in terms of solving concrete business problems, and the feasibility in terms of available technology and production. All of the three mentioned areas contribute to the harmonization of the design thinking process. In the European business world, the notion of design thinking is often replaced by the human-centered design concept. Some experts believe that the difference in wording is related to the reluctance of European schools and design agencies to be the clones of the approach that has already become famous around the United States. For example, in the acclaimed book by Robert Verganti evidently analyzes the design thinking process in fact expressing the basic principles of design thinking without using the term even once (Liedtka & Ogilvie 2011). The difference in wording is even deeper as it is based on the difference between the philosophical and cultural traditions of Europe and the United States. However, there are many opponents of design thinking among professionals inventively studying the problem-solving process in the consulting environment in particular, the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ). The latter perceives design thinking as a marketing trick. The rejection in many ways is associated with the fact that the techniques and approaches which were united under the presented notion of design thinking were used in diverse areas for years. Design thinking manages to systematize the forename experience and link it to the ability to design the future outcomes. 

Design Thinking - as a Strategic Tool in Business Leadership

Design thinking is a totality of philosophical and methodological orientations, whose active formation began more than ten year ago. The forenamed formation started as a response to the advent of a new economic system with the inevitable reassessment of values addressed by the old economy. One of the key philosophical principles of design thinking is empathy - the ability to look at the environment from the perspective of other people, understand their needs, desires, and the challenges they face. It is exactly what is required by today's business patterns in terms of the last decade of radical transformation of the culture of consumption. Another advantage of design thinking is that it is an interdisciplinary platform required to engage a dialogue between the specialists from different fields of knowledge: science and technology, design and engineering, arts and humanities, psychology, anthropology, and cultural studies (Liedtka & Ogilvie 2011). From the methodological point of view, design thinking pertains to heuristic problem solving schemes created under the condition of uncertainty. The latter are referred to as non-standard tasks, which are usually opposed to the tasks that are not related to creative search. Thus, design thinking is not entirely new in terms of optimization procedures for finding answers to complex multi-level problems. As a matter of fact, ancient Greek philosophy formulated the basic question that is met by design thinking today revealed in the necessity to know the reason of the creative search. However, the value of the design thinking approach to modern business is that design techniques are sharpened by the consumer's implicit knowledge, known as tactic knowledge (Lockwood 2009). As the consumer is ordinarily incapable of comprehending and verbalizing his or her implicit knowledge and desires, design thinking conducts the so-called design research which allows identifying, interpreting, and visualizing the data in a form which is suitable for further communications among all interested parties. Thus, from a procedural point of view, design studies form an axiomatic ground base of design thinking performance, and therefore it is inappropriate to analyze one without the other. Originally, the methodological tools of design thinking were shaped by providing solutions to complex problems of designing and developing a new product (Martin 2009). Consequently, design thinking began to be addressed as the most relevant approach in terms of a growing need for mass production of innovations. The transformation of the concept of innovation throughout time greatly contributed to the potential of design thinking in the frameworks of creating an advanced business culture in diverse organizations.

Presently, the philosophy and approaches of design thinking are actively used in advanced business in order to create new authentic businesses, as well as for the generation of new efficient business patterns (Mootee 2013). The latter encloses the tendency of design thinking application to achieve the formation of the desired future scenarios.  Which is especially topical in terms of the fact that the performance of any organization is determined by the holistic vision of society which its serves. Thus, the conscious design of the future provided by design thinking is to be perceived as a qualitatively new level of development dictated with the changing world and human society. Design thinking is essential in terms of being a fundamental tool in business leadership in a way that it does not only create new products, services, and brands but succeeds in creating experience. The latter implies that design thinking businesses fill in the consumer’s experience with new emotions and sensations or in other words gives a profound meaning to the attained experience (Brown & Wyatt 2010). The major reason for the efficiency of design thinking in terms of business strategy is because it shapes the experience of the consumer. Such experience contains in itself the way a person reacts the everyday moments of his or her life and identify the role of a given brand within these everyday experiences. Besides, its defines the products the consumer uses along with the consumer’s emotional reaction to a certain company or business. It is owing to design thinking, the material culture of the global economy is gradually moving towards the non-material value of usability, user experience, and emotional attachment to the brand. The companies which position themselves as global business lead.er have revealed a major concern with the accurate implementation of the design thinking principles. Business prosperity requires more that the traditional set of design competencies in order to create a decent product, brand, or retail experience (Kelley & Kelley 201). It dictates the necessity to comprehend the methods of work with the consumer, to use of competencies in the field of brand strategy, and to apply the fundamental laws of marketing and business. Besides, it requires the possession of knowledge in the field of cognitive psychology, and a particular mindset which allows putting together the disparate and conflicting information about the product. The latter consequently has the capacity to conquer the hearts and minds of the consumers. Design research, being an essential element of design thinking is becoming an integral part of all strategic steps used to create a new product. As a strategic tool in business leadership, design thinking permits performing a variety of design studies. In addition, it stimulates the implementation of the key provisions of the research in the form of innovative products for medicine, electrical engineering, electronics, transportation, banking, telecommunications, and retail areas (Brown 2009). The identification of design thinking as a major strategic tool in leadership is grounded on two primary principles, without which the creation of a successful product today is practically impossible. The first principle related to the ability of design thinking to see ordinary people behind the consumers. The latter admits the integrity and ambiguity of human nature, not limited solely to the act of consumption (Brown 2008). The second principle is associated with the analysis of the processes of human communication with the product, service, or brand, in the context beneath such intercourse. 


Modern business reality identifies design thinking as a primary problem-solving strategy which allows saving time, effort, money, and greatly contributing to the increase of the overall competitiveness of a company. The attention to the surrounding environment manifested by design thinking permits identifying issues which are in deep need of paramount transformation. Design thinking can be characterized throughout empathy and the designer’s ability to take the place of other people and comprehend their feelings. Empathy is the primary precondition of the success of the future product or service. In addition, active prototyping assists in the apprehension of the concept in the early stages of its development and replaces abstract communication with the context of real product or service appraised by the end consumers. The latter along with attracting people of different professions ensures the provision of a broad look at the stated business problem. Evidently, design thinking can be defined as a sort of visualization characterized by an extreme iterative testing for as many potentially successful options as possible. 


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