Debunking common myths about Design Thinking
Updated: Mar 4
By Chirag Gujarati - Coach , Design Thinking and Lean Startup
So widely used yet misunderstood, Design Thinking approach has helped numerous organizations solve complex business problems. Having spent a number of years and worked with entrepreneurs and organizations, I have come to realize that Design Thinking is yet to be understood fully by the leaders and teams. Here is an effort to debunk a few misconceptions about Design Thinking.
DESIGN THINKING IS LINEAR PROCESS
Design thinking not a recipe, it is a cyclical process and at its core, we have Human Centeredness, Divergent/Convergent Thinking and Iterative Approach. There are ﬁve critical stages of the Design Thinking approach which include Empathize, Deﬁne, Ideate, Prototype and Test. The most important part is that it starts at a place depending upon the requirement of the project/problem. There are various frameworks developed and deﬁned by experts and organizations however, the ﬁve steps developed by IDEO is most commonly used approach.
DESIGN THINKING IS BRAIN-STORMING GREAT IDEAS
People think that Design Thinking merely is a process of coming up with innovative ideas and nothing else. The beauty of design thinking is that it helps you ignite your creative self and makes you arrive at the right problem ﬁrst and then helps you ﬁnd solutions to solve the problems. I have observed, in my experience, that groups that spend least amount of times in receiving inputs and frame the right question or problem statement, have lowest success rates.
DESIGN THINKING IS USED TO CREATE NEW PRODUCTS ONLY
This probably is one of the biggest myths about Design Thinking. It can actually be used at multiple places and levels. Whenever and wherever you need to ﬁnd an innovative solution, design thinking will come to your rescue. IT can be your next product, process, business model, strategies and so on. Leaders who think that DT (Design Thinking) can only be used in developing new products, need to know that it can also be used to solve any of your complex business problems. Remember, Design Thinking is an approach to Solve Complex Problems of Business, Society, Economy and Environment!
DESIGN THINKING IS TIME CONSUMING
One of the other major misconceptions about Design Thinking is that it takes a lot of time in its process. Well, how many times we have rushed to solve a problem and failed miserably? Design Thinking allows you to press the Pause button to ask a question, Are we solving the right problem? Design Thinking is actually the time well spent in understanding and identifying the right problem because it has empathy at its core.
Have you encountered any other misconceptions about Design Thinking? I welcome your thoughts!