In the last decade, organisations were preoccupied with reacting to the pace of change that was coming at them from all angles. These changes were wrapped up as problems that needed solutions that were often the subject of large-scale change management initiatives. Looking back in time it is easy to see why employees experienced ‘change-fatigue’ and often resisted implementing what was being asked of them. It was easier to keep on doing the same and avoid anything new that required more physical and mental effort.
Today, the choice is not that easy. Innovation is on the tip of everyone’s tongue and whereas innovation was traditionally focused on designing and developing new products or services for customers, the innovation domain has spread its reach more widely within the organisation. Now, there is a desire for many more people to be engaged and involved in some or all of the innovation process and apart from employees organisations are now working collaboratively with people that are external to their organisation, such as customers and suppliers to deliver innovation.
Taking an outward facing perspective, organisations are beginning to see the value in investing resources into understanding the ‘Customer Experience’ as this provides insights to ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ customers engage with the organisation’s products and services.
Taking an inward facing perspective, HR departments are now realising that they too need to invest resources into really understanding what the ‘Employee Experience’ is so that they can meet employees’ needs through designing ‘employee centric’ products and services. In the HBR article, “Design Thinking Comes of Age” the author, Jon Kolko discusses how design thinking principles are being used more widely across the organisation and in particular how these principles are impacting on corporate culture.
Whilst design thinking can be thought of as an end-to-end methodology, a more useful and subtle approach is to adopt some principles as part of a more general approach to complex problem-solving.
In the next blog post, we will discuss key stages of the process and suggest ways to embrace design thinking as a way solving complex, ill-defined problems and bringing ideas to life.