Design thinking is a creative process of developing business cases and prototypes for innovative solutions. Design thinking can be viewed as a process, a way of thinking, and even a project. Whatever be the perspective, the objective of Design Thinking is to take a systematic approach to find unique solutions to common problems. It helps the organizations to bring together market realities, a deep understanding of customer problems, and business aspirations to create new products and services. It also helps organizations to imbibe a culture that encourages innovation.
Innovation is no longer a strategic choice of a few organizations. It is necessary for business continuity in almost every industry. Organizations are under constant pressure to innovate their business model, products, and services not just to remain competitive but to remain relevant. To cope with the pace and quantum of change required, organizations are continuously looking for a structured process that can make Innovation programs predictable & effective. Organizations require consultants and facilitators who can run by their side handholding them through this process of Innovation and cultural change.
Strengthscape’s Design Thinking Certification program enables Trainers, Internal Innovation Champions, and Innovators to get a deep understanding of the process of innovation, design and implement innovative programs in organizations and conduct training programs that promote a Culture of Innovation. In this program, by going through Design Thinking Expert Certification followed by Design Thinking Facilitator certification, participants will engage in the intensive group and individual work, developing their skills as Design Thinking Facilitators. They develop deep empathy for customer situations, a way to seek inspiration from the world around us, and a business mind to define common problems and innovative products & services.
Why Design Thinking?
A Structured Process
Design thinking is a systematic approach to new development whether products, services, or business models. The output of each step becomes the input for the next.
The design thinking process approaches each step by keeping the unmet needs and desires of the end-user or customer in mind.
Since Design Thinking is a structured process, it creates a map for the person wherein the stops and the destination are predictable.
Unlike discoveries and inventions that are an outcome of chance and in fact, accident, design thinking results in innovative solutions for customer pains and aspirations. It is a process that can be repeated at will and promises favorable outcomes.
The design thinking process has a wide application with steps that can be generalized and applied to all products and services across industries and countries.
On gaining this certification, facilitators will be able to conduct the following programs:
Culture of Innovation
Facilitate programs to help organizations imbibe a culture of innovation and empower their employees to sustain it.
Design Thinking Workshop
Facilitate programs to help organizations adopt and apply the powerful process of design thinking.
Role of leadership in Innovation
Facilitate programs to clarify the role of leadership in the process of innovation and provide leaders with tools and techniques to build innovation as a strategic advantage for the organization.
Training Innovation Champions
Facilitate programs to train employees who lead or participate in innovation projects in an organization.
This Design Thinking certification is for those who want to take the responsibility for driving innovation and growth in the organization. The program is designed to create facilitators and help them add another feather to their hat by providing requisite models, tools, strategies, and methodologies so that they can independently help organizations develop prototypes and support organizations in their expedition to create something innovative.
It is a closed group, high-intensity, classroom workshop that focuses on building the skill of the facilitator through an experiential journey. This journey will empower the facilitators to gain insights through a structured process of peer-learning and master the facilitation of design thinking in varied industries.
Strengthscape’s Design Thinking program focuses on two broad areas of impact – your ability to facilitate Design Thinking Programs and your Facilitation Skills. The parallel track on facilitation skills is enabled by Strengthscape’s DANCER Methodology which has been illustrated below. Learn the DANCER method of facilitation along with a set of more than 20 techniques for achieving group objectives.
|Capturing the As-Is
|Participants experience a real-life situation of facilitating a program.
|Participants learn the importance of asking questions in facilitation and the types of questions to ask at each step, in order to elicit information and ideas.
|Diverging and Converging Opinions
|Participants shall learn how to diverge and converge opinions to orchestrate group interactions.
|Creating a Strong Stage Presence
|Participants will learn how to upscale their stage presence in an experiential way.
|Tools and Techniques for Facilitation
|Participants shall build and practice a comprehensive inventory of tools and techniques of facilitation for varied outcomes.
|Play and Engage
|Participants shall develop a unique facilitation style with a twist by using the art of facilitation skills.
- The expert and facilitator certification are a 2-day each classroom, workshop mode programs.
- The certification course is for those who have a knack for driving innovation within organizations. Since it is a closed group program, there will be a qualification call with the Master Facilitator before registering for the program.
- This certification program takes place a few times a year and therefore, it is with a focused group who have gone through a screening and qualification process.
- Strengthscape will endeavor to bring opportunities for facilitating Innovation and Design Thinking projects to the certified facilitators. Post completion of Design Thinking Facilitator Certification, Strengthscape shall provide 2-years of committed support agreement with up to 4 days of support in the design and administration of the project. Strengthscape will hand-hold the participants in designing programs for their customers.
- Senior/Top Management Executives
- Experienced Project Managers and Innovators
- Senior Human Resource Professionals
- Trainers and Coaches
Businesses today recognize the importance of design thinking in innovation. Due to its ability to solve complex problems and be sensitive to human needs without compromising on feasibility, design thinking is one of the leading approaches to innovation across businesses worldwide.
Without innovation, companies cannot strive to survive in the competitive market, where user needs to change rapidly. By adopting design thinking methods, organizations can transform their ideas into functional processes and products catering to the needs of their customers.
Design thinking encompasses the following steps or stages:
- Empathizing: to understand the problem from the perspective of human needs
- Defining: to re-frame the problem statement in a human-centric way
- Ideating: to come up with a wide variety of solutions and ideas
- Prototyping: to create workable samples to assess feasibility of ideas generated
- Testing: to put the prototype to test to finalize on the best solution
Several methods of design thinking exist, both in industry and academia. Here, we will focus on six methods of design thinking, all of which are known to enhance communication among multi-disciplinary teams, their use of visualization techniques, as well as, for its user simplicity for non-experts.
- PERSONAS: this method is used to identify the needs and desires of the user. The persona refers to a “character” which can be used by both the client and the designer as a means of communication in the design process. It is usually employed during the empathizing and defining stages of design thinking. Persona method of design thinking can be used when developing marketing products, for communication and to reflect the human-centric approach of design thinking
- STAKEHOLDER MAP: A stakeholder map is a visual representation of the various groups involved in a particular product or service, such as customers, users, partners, organizations, companies, and other stakeholders . This map can be used to analyze and understand the interconnections between the various stakeholders for a number of purposes. According to Curedale , this map is vital during the defining stage, to identify the key members in the designing process and their relations with one another.
- CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP (CJM): This technique was born out of service blue-printing. It involves a description of a collection of touchpoints from the start to finish of service delivery, from the point of view of the customer. A “touchpoint” refers to “an instance or a potential point of communication or interaction between a customer and a service provider”. Using the CJM, one can identify the chances of service innovation and improvement. This method of design thinking can be used during the empathizing stage.
- SERVICE BLUEPRINT: This method was developed by Shostack. It is basically a template depicting the steps and flow of service delivery related to the role of the stakeholder as well as the process of delivery. It shows all actions, including technical activities, between the service provider and the customer. In the context of design thinking, this method is useful during the defining stage as it gives an idea of all the in-front tasks and back tasks.
- BUSINESS MODEL INNOVATION: Using a Business Model Canvas (BMC), one can explore the market opportunities, which is central to Business Model (BM) Innovation. Since it describes the business logic of any idea, solution, product etc via visual representation, the BMC is useful as a method of design thinking during the ideation phase.
- RAPID PROTOTYPING (RP): As the name suggests, rapid prototyping allows a quick, visual manifestation of the ideas chalked out on the drawing board. It is useful to determine which of the suggested ideas are technologically possible. RP enhances communication across teams as it provides a visual and tangible representation that can be assessed and analyzed to finalize a product or service that adequately solves the problem. The RP is directly in line with the prototyping stage of design thinking.
At any given point of time, no one method can be sufficient to carry out the design thinking process. The most elaborate and global approach would involve a combination of the methods during the various stages to zero in on a practical and feasible solution to the problem at hand, albeit in a way that meets the human needs – something integral to design thinking.
DESIGN THINKING COURSES – LEARNING ABOUT INNOVATION
One of the biggest myths one can come across is that creativity cannot be nurtured; only a blessed few are born with it. Just like any other skill may be honed and perfected with practice and effort, so can creativity. And, this creativity is not restricted to simply the arts. Creativity exists in business as well. It’s just known by a slightly different name: innovation.
Every business strives for innovation. Innovation ensures not just the survival but also the subsequent rise of companies across domains. To be innovative, companies need to strategize and plan their course of action. They need to employ out-of-the-box methods and attempt strategies that have never been done before.
But, how does one go about being innovative? There is no one road to innovation. Every company is different, hence, every path to innovation is different. However, one can utilize a certain vehicle which will drive them down the road to innovation. This vehicle is design thinking.
Design thinking is the new buzz word amongst businesses. Everybody wants to try it and benefit from it. If you are well-versed with the process and methods, you stand out among the decision makers responsible for building teams aimed at innovation. That’s why design thinking courses are on the rise. There are a wide variety of courses and workshops to choose from to learn about design thinking and practice it hands-on.
Courses can be broadly divided into two categories:
- Blended (in-person and online)
Most in-person courses are short duration but highly intensive and rigorous courses on design thinking. They focus on the design thinking process as well as innovation as a whole; building creatively motivated teams, methods and techniques to spur innovation, understand the psychology behind human and machine interaction etc. Although in-person design thinking courses are structured and designed with a thorough approach, they are also quite expensive to engage in. Moreover, the target groups for in-person design thinking courses are usually senior officials and team leaders.
A more approachable option is online courses on design thinking. They are certification courses which not only teach you about design thinking, but also provide certification upon completion of course. You may not be able to practice design thinking hands-on, but you would gain access to a wide range of resources and tools that would enable you to put the design thinking process into practice once you have learned it.
Blended courses refer to those online courses, which also offer a few in-person sessions. In a way, this is the most appropriate way to learn about design thinking since it gives you the opportunity to put your learning into practice in a controlled environment that can be assessed and improved upon.
Along with courses, one can choose to participate in workshops organized by institutes and organizations where you get to mingle and interact with experts and incumbents alike who share a common interest: design thinking.
Lastly, one can opt to read the multitude of books available along with the materials they have access to from their course. Learning is best when one tries to build on the knowledge through curiosity and self-discovery.
Design thinking is a very practical approach to innovation that requires practice and perseverance to master. A good way to improve your design thinking skills is to keep yourself updated via courses that teach new techniques and methods. Then, one must also employ their learning across a wide range of problems. Practice enhances flexibility; a core component of creativity and innovation.