HBR: Use Design Thinking to Build Commitment to a New Idea

A great read:

HBR: Use Design Thinking to Build Commitment to a New Idea

Roger L. Martin
JANUARY 03, 2017

 

The logic we use to understand the world as it is can hinder us when we seek to understand the world as it could be. Anyone who comes up with new ideas for a living will recognize the challenges this truism presents. It means that to get organizational support for something new, the designer needs to pay as close attention to how the new idea is created, shared, and brought to life as to the new idea itself.

The Normal Way of Generating Commitment…

Normally, we commit to an idea when we are rationally compelled by the logic of the idea and we feel emotionally comfortable with it. In the modern world, we focus disproportionately on the logic, assuming that the feelings will naturally follow. Analysis has become the primary tool in this regard. A logically plausible proposition, combined with supporting data, is presented to produce a cognitive “sense of proof.” Hence the modern equation is: logic plus data provides proof, which generates emotional comfort, which leads directly to commitment.

More here.

Design Thinking in HR! The idea of “Employee Experience Enhancement”

“Employee Experience Enhancement”. The idea that we are driving forward through our DT4HR Initiative. Using Design Thinking to improve the employee’s journey, from before joining to after leaving. Built on the principle of Empathy and Action.

Here’s a great video, on those lines.

Design Thinking News: How Design Thinking Creates Connected Health Devices That Matter

Daily Design Inspirations 31: Joe Gebbia: “Design the Farm!” (#dailydesigninspirations)

Just yesterday, at the end of a Design Challenge, we were discussing the age-old battle between the designer and the product manager. And the oldest question that is asked of a start-up: which should come first.

Joe Gebbia, in this brilliant interview points out that one doesn’t need to think that way. But design the farm instead!

Excellent watch! Here on youtube.

Joe Gebbia
Joe Gebbia

 

FastCompany: 7 Habits Of Innovative Thinkers

Emotional Intelligence plays a big role in innovative thinking. Here are traits that these people have in common. Something we forget to look at.

Many people believe that creativity and innovative thinking are traits that we are born with—we either have them or not. However, we have found that people who are highly innovative are a work in progress, forever questioning and examining themselves and the world around them. Far from being something we are born with, we can all become more innovative and creative by developing the traits that innovative people share. Here are some of the emotional intelligence-related attributes that innovative people share.

1. INNOVATORS HAVE THEIR EGO IN CHECK

Emotional intelligent people have their egos under control and are open to other people’s ideas. They don’t think their ideas are always the best. As a result of their openness to other ideas, they are able to accumulate a larger source of data from which to draw from. They are also less likely to fall into the trap of following up on ideas and prospects that are only popular and then receiving kudos for them.

2. EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE ARE CONFIDENT, NOT ARROGANT

Even though they may not think their ideas are always spot on, there is always a belief in their craft and innovate accordingly. They see failures as temporary setbacks. By failing, this will uncover a way that doesn’t work, bringing them closer to a way that will. Great innovators such as Edison, failed countless times before achieving a breakthrough that led to success. A common factor in all innovators is they see failures and setbacks as temporary and do not take them personally.

3. THEY ARE CONTINUALLY CURIOUS

Emotionally intelligent people are curious about people, concepts, and issues. They’re open to new information always on the lookout for new ideas that can be put into practice. Being avid readers, forever seeking out new ideas, and expanding their knowledge base increases their repertoire of tools for future use. Noticing every opportunity, a random meeting with a stranger, conversation, or an event they are attending is always an occasion to learn something new. Every person they talk to is seen as possessing some knowledge that may be beneficial to them.

4. THEY ARE GOOD LISTENERS

Emotionally intelligent people pick up on information and are able to sit back and take it in, and are adept at processing information that makes them excellent listeners. When someone is speaking, most people are formulating a response in their minds instead of just focusing upon what the person talking is saying. Good listeners are able to focus not only on the words that are being spoken, but are aware of the tone of the words, the body language expressed, and the emotions behind them. This allows the individual to not only absorb valuable information but develop strong relationships with others. We all have a strong desire to be heard and are attracted to those we feel have taken the time and effort to hear us.

5. THEY DON’T LET THEIR EMOTIONS AFFECT THEIR INNOVATION EFFORTS

Emotionally intelligent people see failure as a process—this takes them one step closer to being their best self. They don’t have to defend an idea that is proven to be wrong as they’re seeking to advance themselves personally and are looking to advance their ideas. Emotionally intelligent people just love to create because this fills their soul and life purpose.

6. THEY CAN TAKE DIRECTION

Emotionally intelligent people have a keen sense of awareness.They can express their emotions in a way that isn’t confrontational. They can be assertive without being aggressive. One must be able to take direction in order to give direction.

7. THEY EMPATHIZE WITH CO-WORKERS AND CUSTOMERS

Being emotionally intelligent allows people to feel comfortable around you. To truly understand a customers’ needs you have to have empathy. It’s not just about the product. It’s about the people. As Maya Angelou said: “You may not remember what someone said to you, but you will remember how they made you feel.”

Design News: The Street – Why the Financial Services Sector Should Embrace Design Thinking

Kunal Vaed, a senior vice president and the head of digital at E*TRADE Financial in New York, shares how the company applied Design Thinking to transform customer experience. Appeared in The Street.

Design Thinking has certainly captured the zeitgeist of our times, moving beyond the realm of digital-product management. Financial services institutions need to evolve to rapidly embrace design thinking or they risk disruption at the hands of nimble start-up companies.

Design often connotes simply a beautiful product, without enough attention focused on its utilitarian aspects. This is ill-fated, as a well-designed product or experience solves a human need and is something with which users want to engage and for which they want to advocate.

Simply said, design thinking places the user at the core of an organization’s agenda. It spans traditional functions within product development such as experience design and visual design, all the way to strategy and innovation.

Through extensive customer research, designers identify not just the functional needs of users but build true empathy. Designers create propositions to best serve these needs and continually test these hypotheses with customers.

The financial services industry is the perfect sandbox for design thinking. The reasons are simple.

 The industry facilitates many of life’s biggest decisions: buying a house, saving for retirement and paying for children’s education. Planning for retirement is an emotional topic, so this makes thoughtfully designed experiences a necessity.

In addition, investors face an array of complex investment choices, which require scrupulous analysis prior to investing. Design can address the complexity of investing and empower users to feel confident in the decisions that they make.

 At E*TRADE, design thinking allows the company to help investors get smarter.

E*TRADE’s approach to design thinking takes its cues from the Double Diamonddesign process, developed by the British Design Council. There are four stages in this design process: discovery, definition, ideation and delivery.

In the discovery phase, designers and product managers conduct research to understand customer pain points. This phase is divergent as we search for new questions and unmet needs.

Techniques such as customer listening are effective enablers.

In phase two, E*TRADE synthesize customer research and converge to the problem statement. This requires ruthless discipline to ensure that the company isn’t boiling the ocean.

Creating customer personas highlights differences in needs and aspirations of various customer groups. Customer journeys illuminate the path of the customer as they complete a task navigating outside and inside E*TRADE.

Next, E*TRADE creates early prototypes to visualize potential concepts in the ideation phase. Customers are part and parcel of this process and co-create these concepts.

Last, convergent thinking is employed to deliver a high-fidelity prototype, which is ready for developers to code. In this final phase, customers play a vital role in testing the usability of the new experience.

Consider E*TRADE’s new Adaptive Portfolio offering, which combines automated advice with access to financial consultants. Early on, in the discovery phase, E*TRADE’s research showed that customers were seeking peace of mind and transparency in their search for the right investing solution.

So E*TRADE designed with a simple problem statement: to help users go from idea to investment in five minutes. During the ideation phase, E*TRADE paid special attention to create an uncluttered design for the risk tolerance questionnaire, with intuitive questions, actionable steps and persistent help.

E*TRADE also heard that customers were interested in confirming their tolerance for risk before finally signing up. So E*TRADE designed a series of engaging visualisations to compare and contrast the company’s model portfolios by risk tolerance.

Finally, in the delivery phase, E*TRADE conducted usability interviews with customers to further optimise the work flow. E*TRADE is measuring interaction data across this experience and continue to refine it based on user behaviour.

Employing a user-centric mindset in the brokerage industry comes with its challenges, given the spectrum of users. E*TRADE has sophisticated traders who have honed their craft over the years and instinctively deploy a virtual army of strategies as they move in and out of positions every day.

At the same time, E*TRADE has buy-and-hold investors who take long positions for income and are more interested in long-term performance. Finally, E*TRADE has delegators, who are interested in self-adjusting solutions such as Adaptive Portfolio that are professionally managed.

Making sure that the design is flexible enough to scale becomes paramount.

There are four key considerations that can help strike the right balance.

  1. Share the glory. Customers and stakeholders across the organization need to co-own the outcomes. The financial services industry needs to place particular emphasis on co-creation given the complexity of investment choices and the changing regulatory landscape. Connecting designers, product managers, engineers and compliance experts early and often creates a shared responsibility.
  2. Get commitment from the top. Senior management needs to set the tone for the importance of designing an exceptional customer experience. E*TRADE Chief Executive Paul Idzik listens to several hours of customer calls every week and encourages employees to “put themselves in the customer’s shoes” at all times.
  3. Create an aspirational north star. Every organization needs to find purpose in its customer agenda. This agenda needs to speak to all, from customer service representatives, to engineers to designers to operations staff. In fact, the company has memorialized eight design tenets in posters and digital screens across E*TRADE to remind employees of what it means to deliver exceptional customer experience.
  4. Test, learn, re-test and re-learn. The user-centric mindset means the process is iterative. Design thinking fits perfectly with E*TRADE’s continuing transformation toward an agile software development process. Continuously analyzing data on how customers are using products and services ensures that E*TRADE evolves and learns.

Investors have entrusted the companies in this industry with a major responsibility: to help them manage their money.

Furthermore, their expectations are being set by digital leaders outside the financial services industry, who are constantly upping the ante. As a result, their expectations will only increase.

This industry has a narrow opportunity to embrace design thinking and position the customer at the core of its agenda. This has significant implications on talent mix, product development processes and tools, and project portfolios.

The most profound impact is in transforming the industry’s culture to be design-forward.

 

Daily Design Inspirations 28: Jeanne Liedtka on How to Think Like a Designer (#DailyDesignInspirations)

I learned Design Thinking from her. And she remains one of the stalwarts in the space of Design Thinking, as a teacher and a practitioner.

Jeanne has been involved in the corporate strategy field for over 30 years. She is a professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia, where she teaches both MBAs and executives and consults on innovation, organic growth and design thinking. Beginning her career as a strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, she has served as Associate Dean of the MBA Program at Darden, Executive Director of the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation, and Chief Learning Officer at United Technologies Corporation.

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Jeanne Liedtka’s model

Here she argues that learning to approach problems the way Designers do can be a useful way to spark innovation. (Original link from Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business)

Empathy. The Cornerstone of the Philosophy, the Principles, the Process of Design Thinking

I conduct Design Thinking talks and programmes quite frequently. And during most of my sessions, for audiences as varied as Finance professionals, Sales managers, HR leaders, Engineers and Designers, someone from my participants always asks me: “but isn’t the idea of creating solutions based on User needs common sense? A no-brainer? A piece of wisdom from our grandfather’s time?”

And my answer is invariably and emphatically “YES!”

And yet, when we dive in to understand the and apply Design Thinking, I see participants struggle to do exactly that. Immerse themselves in the User/Stakeholder’s experience. Observe, Engage, Watch and Listen, for clues and signs that tell of habits and behaviours, needs and interests, fears and desires. The critical “why” behind decisions and actions, the “what” behind causes and motivations.

Everybody knows the need for Empathy. Everybody understands the significance and implications of User-Centred thinking, before designing and solutioning. Yet, very few can practice it.

Because years, maybe lifetimes of conditioning, experiences, frames of reference and biases come in the way of objectively looking at data and facts, to take in user experiences for what they are, and not judge and prematurely evaluate. The conflict between what we think “we know already” and the surprising realities of “what we find” when we observe are not easy to reconcile with. We are not listening beyond the noises in our heads, and missing important clues that can help us make sense of the world. What Tim Brown at IDEO calls “sense-making”.

And yet, there lies the only way ahead. The ONLY way to Customer Centricity, to meaningful solutions and products, to real innovation. To counter assumptions and biases, and understand, really understand what really matters. That’s why we start with Empathise, before we can even Define the problem to solve.

DT-five-step-model1-1024x419

 

To be clear, this focus on Users neither rejects nor diminishes the knowledge and experience the participants bring to the table. Subject-matter expertise is not only a critical multiplier of Design Thinking, it is also essential to developing meaningful, collective insights or points of view (as further source of data).

However, there is no alternative to Empathy and generating insights through Empathy research. And it is the cornerstone of not just Design Thinking, but getting better in life. As David Kelley puts it “The main tenet of design thinking is Empathy for the people you’re trying to design for. Leadership is exactly the same thing – building Empathy for the people that you’re entrusted to help.”

Empathy helps us understand other people, put ourselves in their shoes, and only when we are able to do that can we see things from different perspectives. And that is what we need to solve their problems, and improve our situations.

Here’s a great video on Empathy. Empathy is something that can make us better as human beings. And also create better cities where we listen to citizens, schools where we listen to students, relationships where we listen to partners. Empathy is our sign of success as a race, and our hope for the future.

 

Daily Design Inspirations 25: Design Thinking in Prisons. (#DailyDesignInspirations)

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The Latest In Prison Education? Design Thinking

The MakeRight initiative teaches incarcerated people empathetic design with the aim of reducing recidivism.

 

From packaging that prevents shoplifting to furniture that guards against thieves, projects originating from the Design Against Crime Research Center (DACRC)—a program at Central Saint Martins in London—offer clever design ideas to protect against crime. Its latest project has grander ambitions: change the way offenders think, and perhaps curb law breaking as a byproduct.

The DACRC’s MakeRight initiative teaches prisoners design thinking. While many prison programs teach technical skills—and, historically, have exploited incarcerated individuals for labor—MakeRight is meant to yield empathy through design.

Design thinking is a process that involves defining a problem, researching and observing behavior, coming up with multiple solutions, refining the solutions, choosing a winner, prototyping the idea, and implementing it. While critical thinking breaks down ideas, design thinking builds them up and benefits from having as many diverse solutions as possible.

In one of its first projects—run in collaboration with the National Institute of Design, a school in India—25 prisoners designed theft-proof bags, wallets, briefcases, and purses. They shared some of the (terrifying) tricks of their trade, like slashing back pockets so wallets slide right out, to inform the design of better products—in that case, a wallet with a thicker side so it catches on the pocket and doesn’t fall out.

More…

 

IDEO: Design Thinking Can be used to Develop the 7 Mindsets needed to Develop Solutions

Identified by Design Kit at IDEO, Design Thinking allows us to gain insight and yield innovative solutions for any type of challenge that we face by developing key mindsets. These Mindsets explore and uncover the philosophy behind our approach to creative problem solving, and show that how you think about design directly affects whether you’ll arrive at innovative, impactful solutions.Here they are.

Mindset #1: Empathy

What differentiates design thinking from other frameworks is that it asks users to start with developing empathy, to see things from the persepctive of others, those effected by the problem.

Mindset #2: Creative Confidence

Creative confidence is not about being a great artist or graphic designer, it’s about believing that you have ideas that can bring about a positive change and that you have the skills to see your idea through.

Mindset #3: Learn from Failure

Failure is an incredibly powerful tool for learning. Designing experiments, prototypes, and interactions and testing them is at the heart of human-centered design. So is an understanding that not all of them are going to work. As we seek to solve big problems, we’re bound to fail. But if we adopt the right mindset, we’ll inevitably learn something from that failure.

Mindset #4: Make It

Design Thinking brings in a bias towards action, and that means getting ideas out of our heads and into the hands of the people we are looking to serve. Using anything at our disposal, from cardboard and scissors to sophisticated digital tools. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you use, or how beautiful the result is, the goal is always to convey an idea, share it, and learn how to make it better.

Mindset #5: Ambiguity

The big gorilla in the room, the last of the VUCA horsemen. The world is becoming more ambiguous by the day. And Design Thinking, with the focus on Divergent and Convergent Thinking, can help find sense. Learning to take that step back and start with a beginner’s mind is key to creating sustainable solutions that will truly bring the impact you desire.

Mindset #6: Optimism

As Margaret Mead had said, “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” Human-centred designers are persistently focused on what could be, not the countless obstacles that may get in the way. Constraints are inevitable, and often they push designers toward unexpected solutions. But it’s the core animating belief that shows just how deeply optimistic human-centered designers are: Every problem is solvable.

Mindset #7: Iterate

Human-centered design is an inherently iterative approach to solving problems because it makes feedback from the people we’re designing for a critical part of how a solution evolves. By continually iterating, refining, and improving our work we put ourselves in a place where we’ll have more ideas, try a variety of approaches, unlock our creativity, and arrive more quickly at successful solutions.

Great ideas…

 

With additional inputs from internet sources…