Design Thinking is a process AND a mindset. But it’s also much more than that. Implemented in daily work, the problem-solving potential of Design Thinking finds its expression in the form of a living innovation culture. This is even more the case when holistic and user-centered solutions are sought. How this works in detail and is implemented in practice can be learned at the HPI D-School in one to two semesters.es.
The special quality of this method may be found in its integral character and the resolutions of the usual, albeit few, conducive limitations. For this purpose, the three big “Ps” have proven to be of great value:
- People: The team is formed in an expressly multi-disciplinary manner to allow for ideas that extend far beyond the borders of the individual member’s own discipline. This trend moves visibly from an individualistic way of thinking to a we-culture of mutual creation. It is precisely here that we see the greatest potential and where we set our starting point. It is a simple truth that collaborating teams react faster, use their collective intelligence better and generate working processes with greater sustainability. This is how they reach amazing results.
- Place: Ideas flourish best in a free and flexible working environment. Variable rooms are adapted to the needs of each project. Tables and partitions can be moved on rollers. Walls and almost all other surfaces are used freely to visualize thoughts and to share results. Shelves of colorful materials invite participants to illustrate ideas quickly and to bring them to life.
- Process: Through the six-step Design Thinking innovation process, the team navigates into the solution space. The process requires an open culture of error. Why? Because in Design Thinking we like to think in the realm of the impossible. The user is totally in the focus of the emphatic approach and its development. The intriguing thing about the process is that it activates the entire thought apparatus of those involved – both the analytical and the creative-intuitive areas.
Design Thinking offers an even balance between creative and analytical methods. This combination motivates teams, coaches and project partners to define the problem and formulate the solution with a greater sense of adventure. Different perspectives and experiences consciously flow into the solution process. The solution space of design innovation opens at the crossroads of user wishes, feasibility and cost-effectiveness.
In Design Thinking an often heard adage is: “problems can be complicated but not solutions.” Here, the search for solutions is not undertaken from the beginning, but rather an attempt is first made to get to the root of the problem. Subsequently, it is often a surprising simplicity that characterizes the optimal result.
The six-step iterative Design Thinking process combines the methodology from engineering with experimental aspects from the teaching of design. The user is seen from a social-scientific perspective, with a view that is always open to something new. Team members from very different backgrounds combine their efforts toward achieving a common goal. At the same time, mutually appreciated, innovation-inspiring communication helps to develop a common language and way of thinking that extends beyond subject-specific terminology and hierarchical borders. Only in this way is it possible to mutually overcome complex challenges. The result: convincing innovations for widely different areas of life.