If you were praying for an idea that will help give your business a paradigm shift from a relatively small gain to a dancing gain then you have reached the right article. Grab a coffee with a sheet of paper and a biro as I take you in a white knuckle ride.
Now, if you are hearing the word ‘design thinking’ for the first time, then you must be thinking of the meaning. But before we define the term let us get the picture from this story.
Years ago, a truck driver was passing under a low bridge and unluckily for him, his tire lodged firmly under the bridge making it almost impossible for him to drive through or even reverse out. As the truck became stuck, it caused massive traffic problem which resulted in truck drivers, emergency personnel ,Engineers and fire fighters gathering to negotiate and pulverize the situation.
They devised and followed various possible solutions but to no avail. When the problem became too unbearable for the people, emergency workers started debating on whether to dismantle parts of the truck or chips away at parts of the bridge.
But there came a boy who probably was strolling the street near the point of that incident to see what was actually happening. The boy looked at the workers and everyone as they were debating intensely and said in a rather unserious manner, ‘why not just let the air out of the tires?’. Boom! Everyone were amazed the solution was already working brfore the finished testing the small boy’s theory.
What is significant about this story?
The specialist and the experts were not bereft of knowledge but they just needed to think outside the theories of their different fields. As seen here, sometimes when we face challenges obvious solutions are the hardest to come by because of the self-imposed constraints we define for our self. Thus come the definition of design thinking;
It is thinking outside our solid thought pattern which were built by our assumption and everyday knowledge.
More clearly, design thinking is an ‘outside the box thinking’ which entails challenging our assumptions and solid thought partern ,thus finding new ways to solve a problem.
How can small businesses benefit from design thinking?
Remember, design thinking is a human centered and collaborative approach to problem-solving, it is using a designed mindset to solve complex problem(Tim Brown, CEO) so for the principle to work for you in your business then you have to get yourself abreast with the ‘how’s’.
Some beginners in the business world don’t care for this aspect of thinking. Ask them to show you the prototype of the feature they just launched or the new product they shipped they will not have them to show. Prototyping entails trying out hypothesis you have developed for a solution to a problem in a lower fidelity before you commit to the final thing. The purpose of this is to invest as little as possible into your idea in order to find out quickly from your people or customers whether or not it is useful or valuable to them.
So test run your ideas in a smaller scale first before taking bigger risk
RESEARCH INTO YOUR POTENTIAL USERS
You have to do research with the people who would be using your feature or product. From doing this, you would get a lot of opinion from them and know how to deliver a successful solutions to their problem.Know that design thinking is about putting your customers first.
Small businesses will thrive if the first step they take is research. This is what design thinking is about, embracing a design process and applying the strategies to a business plan or model.