January 24, 2018

Design Thinking in Business Management

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Of late, innovation has become one of the decisive factors for business growth in modern context. Multi-national business organisations have been engaged in cut-throat competition for achieving success in terms of market share’s growth through adopting innovative approach. Maintenance of quality in service for the sake of goodwill and brand equity in market has been associated with modern business objectives. Multi-national business companies have felt dire need of meeting strategic and operational business objectives for increasing growth rate of revenue generation and operating income. That is where the importance of innovation in business process lies.

Of late, most of the multi-national business organisations, be it Coca-Cola or Apple Inc., have been giving utmost level of focus on the development of design strategy. For example, Apple Inc. has employed Design Team with the objective of acquiring ideas for maintaining innovation in products’ features. Meeting and exceeding customers’ requirements through innovation has become essence of business objectives associated with business. As a result, Apple Inc. has been able to bring about improvement in customer relationship management thereby resulting in ensuring customer retention. Efficacious application of design thinking has helped Apple in improving sales and distribution activities along with manufacturing system. Hence, it can be said that innovation in business process can be maintained through applying design thinking thereby resulting in increasing service quality level.

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Lawton Ursrey has shown in his Forbes online article Why Design Thinking Should Be At The Core Of Your Business Strategy Development how design thinking has become relevant in the context of resolving customers’ query through adopting problem-solving approach. This article has recognised design thinking as an effective approach towards simplicity. In this context, it can be said that Leonardo Da Vinci has emphasised upon simplicity for sophistication. Simple thinking and ideation of solutions have become success factors for Apple Inc. in the context of meeting annual sales targets through complying with customers’ requirements. In accordance with Lawton Ursrey’s opinion, organisations can achieve success in terms of strategic development through applying design thinking with respect to product portfolios, service quality and business process.

For Google Inc., design thinking has become important and associated element of business process, through which, utmost focus has been given to the adoption of problem-solving approach for purpose of achieving business results. In addition, Google has been able to increase effectiveness level of business process through applying design thinking in business process. As a result, Google has been to maintain the growth of its cloud segment at faster pace as a result of which business profitability has been maintained. Maintenance of technological competence, efficacious customer service management, utmost focus on quality in service delivery and production process and implementation of strategic business leadership- these four aspects have been achieved through design thinking. Google has achieved success because it has shown efficiency in applying design thinking through solution-oriented approach. Therefore, it can be concluded that success of design thinking ca

Tim Brown, CEO and President of IDEO, has attained prominence as a leading propagator of design thinking. He has regarded design thinking as a creative approach to creating value for customers. In addition, design thinking process can be applied for exploitation of marketing opportunities. Design thinking has been considered as an effective way of minimising uncertainties as well as risks prevalent in market.  For this reasons, end-users ought to be engaged through adopting various strategies. For example, Amazon and Zappos have been giving preference to the creation of wonderful customers’ experiences through customer satisfaction and loyalty. Both business entities have been able to acquire focused approach towards value creation for the sake of customers’ engagement.

A study conducted by White House Office of Consumer Affairs has shown that US service users tend to make more payment in case of the availability of quality service. For increasing quality level of customer service, Amazon has been giving importance to quick responsiveness to customers’ requirements as a part of implementing design thinking. True & Co’s personalize customer communication and recommendation has also been considered as an effective approach for delivering lingerie products through online as per customers’ specification. Customer support of True & Co has also played important role in improving service quality, as a result of which, design thinking has been implemented and organisational productivity has been increased in terms of business performance and profitability. As a part of design thinking implementation process, business entities like Amazon and Bata give preference to the adoption of empathy while dealing with customers. Microsoft focuses on coming up with innovative solutions for increasing market share and improving business profitability.

In this way, business organisations have been using design thinking as customer and problem solving oriented approach for improving business productivity. This action oriented approach played a significant role in attaining strategic objectives associated with business operations. Indeed design thinking approach is all about the adoption of hands-on and creative approach for creating USP value of brands. An organisation can develop the foundation of design thinking through laying emphasis on three aspects- Viability of Business, Desirability of Service Users and Feasibility of Technology. Through the utilisation of design thinking process, business organisations like Apple and Microsoft have shown competency in bringing about radical and revolutionary changes through translating issues into efficacious solutions.

Design thinking has been proved as a useful approach with respect to organisational development. Through implementing design thinking, Facebook and Warby Parker have encouraged the development of creativity amongst service users. Employees must be encouraged to think in a new and creative ways so that they can altogether contribute to the development of USP value of organisational brands. In Southwest Airlines, application of design thinking has been proved effective in terms of creating highly motivated workforce and satisfied customers. Such a great is their motivation level that they do not hesitate in making additional efforts for customer satisfaction. Therefore, design thinking’s role cannot be denied in creating highly motivated and productive workforce.

However, there are certain factors, which can create issues in implementing design thinking. For example, resistance to change can create issues in implementing design thinking. Employees need to be convinced regarding the importance of design thinking and creativity for improving business performance. For this purpose, change management experts can be appointed in organisations, which will be playing a significant role in implementing design thinking. In addition, training and development program can be organised for educating employees about the importance of design thinking and creativity in organisations. A brainstorming session should be held every month for ameliorating creativity of organisational members. In this way, design thinking can be able to attain relevance in organisational context.

References

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lawtonursrey/2014/06/04/14-design-thinking-esque-tips-some-approaches-to-problem-solving-work-better-than-others/#92a134816271

https://hbr.org/2008/06/design-thinking

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241260

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About Soham Roy 40 Articles
MBA in Human Resource Management, MA in Modern History with specialization in Modern Europe (1870-2000), HR Professional, Academic Writer