Marian Abio



May 25, 2023
No items found.

Unleashing innovation: 5 steps to implementing design thinking in your business

Marian Abio
May 25, 2023

Growth is the lifeblood of any business. 

In today's rapidly evolving industry landscape, every company strives to accelerate. Design thinking has emerged as a powerful tool for innovation and success, incorporating empathy, collaboration, and experimentation. It revolutionizes decision-making and stimulates development in the enterprise.

Let us guide you through five actionable steps to implement design thinking in your business and unlock a world of limitless possibilities.

Step 1: Understand the concept of Design Thinking

Design thinking is more than just a buzzword; it's a mindset that places the customer at the heart of every decision! You can gain invaluable insights and uncover hidden opportunities by empathizing with your target market. Embracing this approach also cultivates a culture of creativity within your organization through collaborative thinking.

But before you decide on using this for your organization, understand the methodology basics. From there, you can see where you can apply it. Limitless Lab has created a comprehensive guide on design thinking, which you can read here.

Step 2: Identify your needs and goals

Before delving into design thinking, assess your business goals and identify areas that can benefit from a human-centered approach. Every part of a business would benefit from innovation, but you can't tackle everything at once. Thus, reflecting on your current state, where you want to go, and what will be your priority is essential.  

Afterward, determine the necessary resources you may need, such as multidisciplinary teams and research and prototyping tools. Some of these things you may already have, others you may want to procure, while some will take time to nurture, such as a supportive organizational culture that values experimentation and iteration.

Gaining support and commitment from leadership is also crucial to endorsing and integrating design thinking into the organization's values and goals. Leadership buy-in helps overcome resistance and ensures resource allocation for design thinking initiatives.

Step 3: Embrace people-centered values and action plans

Design thinking is all anchored on knowing your stakeholders, which means going beyond the usual demographic data. 

Organizations that practice this approach must go out of their offices and talk to their customers first-hand. They must interview them, observe them, and spend time with them. We recommend that organizations have some form of user research action plans when incorporating design thinking, but only a few organizations do this because user research requires time and resources. At worst, organizations do not believe it's worth it. 

But, if you genuinely want to practice design thinking, you must intentionally lay out processes that will kickstart the empathy stage while encouraging your team to embrace this new people-centered value.

Gathering data as part of the design thinking process. Photo from Pexels.
Step 4: Equip your team with necessary tools and skills

Design thinking thrives on collaboration and diverse perspectives, so it's vital to equip your team with the skills and tools needed to foster this kind of thinking. 

Design sprints, for example, must be facilitated by someone who can encourage cross-functional teams to work together and create spaces for open dialogue and idea-sharing. While simultaneously ensuring the team does not focus too much on the details and pushes them to make decisions. 

Facilitators can do this by employing different methods, such as: 

  • storyboarding 
  • dot voting
  • mind mapping
  • affinity mapping 

Teams, on the other hand, need to practice empathy, data analysis, and rapid prototyping. These skills will take time and effort, but teams will achieve them with time and a supportive learning culture. 

Step 5: Prepare for pushbacks

Implementing design thinking in a business may face resistance and pushbacks. Common challenges include:

  • reluctance to embrace change.
  • skepticism about the value of user research.
  • preference for traditional problem-solving approaches.

To address these concerns, communicate the benefits of design thinking, share success stories from other organizations, and provide training and support to help team members adapt to the new approach.

By following these steps, you can foster a culture of creativity, empathy, and experimentation within your company, propelling your business toward innovation and growth. Embrace design thinking to create a future filled with limitless possibilities.

Want to scale groundbreaking ideas for company growth? Try co-designing with Limitless Lab, a global design and social innovation agency in the Philippines that collaborates with corporations, governments, and NGOs in creating impact solutions. Since 2018, they have helped organizations and individuals, including The Asia Foundation, Smart Communications, and Microsoft, solve complex challenges using design thinking.

Our Latest Updates

Let's co-design a better future together!

Book a Free Consultation