Design Thinking & Innovation Creativity as a Strategic Advantage

Strategic Advantage   Photograph Credit: Choralnet

Today’s business environment has never been more volatile or unpredictable. Businesses not only have to account for traditional sources of competition across their products, services and technology, but they are experiencing disruption from new sources, such as channels to market, human resource talent, brands, and supply chains.

More and more, organizations are realizing that being competitive requires increasing the creative capacity of the firm. Building a creative, innovative workforce requires a mindset shift that begins with a leadership that reframes challenges and encourages ideation and experimentation.

Design Thinking is one innovation tool that forward thinking leaders are using to expand the creative capacity of their workforce.  Design Thinking, or co-creation methods, help organizations change the way they solve problems and encourages a “fail fast” attitude that jumpstarts a firm’s innovative proficiency.


Evolving How to Capture Value

A management mindset on solving problems often creates an environment focused on “Doing Things Right”.  These efforts have been described as The Efficiency Movement and have manifested themselves in several different initiatives, including: Outsourcing, Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, Corporate Redesign, Market Segmentation, Line Extensions, and Diversification.

These efforts Capture Value for the organization, which can be essential to a firm’s competitive position.  The evolution of Analytics and the use of Big Data has only increased the opportunities for firms to leverage these efforts into sustainable competitive advantages.

Increasingly, creative organizations are applying tools such as Design Thinking to help employees turn insights about these initiatives into “how to win” strategies that impact business results.


Focus on Value Creation

Design Thinking challenges organizations to see the world through the eyes of their customers every step of the way.

This user-centric approach attempts to better understand what problems to focus on, the nature of a problem, and why problems exist for the user.  The result is to help companies identify if they are “Doing the Right Thing”.

By focusing on what’s important to the user, organizations can learn to define value from the outside in.  This approach helps firms identify ways to attack their challenges and focus efforts on generating more users, increasing usage, and adding benefits for users.


Strategic Advantage

User-centric approaches, like Design Thinking, help organizations become more agile and better able to cope with rapidly changing markets and new competition.

A firm’s ability to develop and grow its creative capacity, to focus on “doing the right thing”, combined with an ability to execute on “doing things right” will increasingly help separate the winners from the losers.

 

 

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