Thinking About Design Thinking

Design thinking is not:

  • A new way to design things

Design thinking is:

  • Thinking about business through the lens of design

 

Design Thinking is not the same as the act of Designing.

Design thinking means applying design as a methodology to work through strategic issues in a clearer way.

Design thinking means using design to organize and visualize thoughts.

When thoughts and ideas are properly visualized, they are much clearer to everyone involved, and much easier to have concrete discussions about.

They are also easier to iterate productively on.

Each update to the visualization of the thought, the idea, or the organizing principle, means the update has a tangible outcome, and is easier to quantify.

In that sense, Design Thinking can very effectively bridge the gap between Strategy and Execution.

As a side note: when people say: ”I’m a visual person”, what they typically mean is that they are visualization deficient. They are unable to see for themselves what you are describing, and need YOU to visualize it FOR them.

(A truly visual person would be able to visualize something without paint-by-numbers instructions).

So, what people really should say is: “I can’t visualize this. Can you show me?”

And what you would apply in order to do this is (you guessed it):

Design Thinking.

Because you’re helping them to think about a concept through the use of design.

You’re helping a group of often visualization-deficient people process their thoughts collectively by feeding those thoughts back to them in visual form, and thereby helping them be more deliberate and effective.

And that is much more than a buzzword.

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