Design Thinking: 5 tips on how to bring innovation to your medium-sized business

Hand Design Thinking

The Design Thinking method has been determining the working world since the 90s, when it comes to the capacity for innovation in companies. Here are some important tips on the topic. 

Design Thinking is a user-centred method which helps companies to develop new ideas. The basis of the method is the creative cooperation of employees within interdisciplinary processes.

User-centric approach in focus  

When developing ideas or products with Design Thinking the focus is always on the individual user and the target group. The solution-oriented approach is intended to develop an understanding for those people who will actually use the product or the solution. Once design thinking processes have identified problems and defined their implications and assumptions, hypotheses and concepts can be sketched, developed and tested in an experimental framework. Due to prototyping teams can not only implement ideas faster, but also visualize innovations more easily. Also, customer feedback can be obtained quickly.

According to the “Build-Measure-Learn”-principle, the optimization of an idea or the change of a hypothesis can follow soon after.

With these tips you can quickly implement Design Thinking in your company: 

  1. Put yourself in the position of your target group: Observe and talk to them and develop empathy for their needs.
  2. Work in interdiscplinary teams: Different perspectives provide diverse ideas and approaches.
  3. Develop prototypes to test your ideas at an early stage: Test your hypotheses with Minimum Viable Products.
  4. Bring your team together in a creative environment: Use new impulses outside your usual office. For example, are there any Coworking Spaces in your city?
  5. Broaden the horizon of your team: Design Thinking is an effective method to generate quick results. Use the method also in regular meetings.

Supported by professionals

The fact that innovations are indispensable in order to meet the rapidly changing conditions on the market is no novelty. ppi Media has already supported several companies – such as M-Logistik GmbH in Regensburg – in their digital transformation. Design Thinking expert at ppi Media, Corinna Coverly, sees a variety of opportunities for companies and employees in this approach. “For me, innovation does not just mean to hold a single workshop – instead, you need sustainable processes in which all participants should be involved!” However, in order to get rid of old or worn out structures and take on new perspectives, Design Thinking processes should be accompanied and moderated by professionals. Only then participants can build the right mindset and iterative learning is encouraged.

Especially in the publishing industry it is essential to constantly look out and develop new business models in order to remain as a competitive media house. The Design Thinking method, coupled with a dose of courage, helps to break new ground.