What is design thinking? Well, I got a small whiff of it, attending a masterclass for the European Broadcasting Union in London.
Design thinking is a way of organising your thoughts so that you can come up with real, thought-through ideas on how to solve any question or situation within your organisation. The trick is to not solve the question to fast.
I, for one, am someone who is a pretty intuitive and fast thinker – wanting to find a solution to any problem posed. And I’m apparently too fast. It can hinder the discovery of even better solutions. And it is no easy task to slow down. To let the process run its course. That’s why this masterclass was such a good thing for me. To actually see what happens if I don’t present my solutions right away.
If I wait and let time work for me.
Design thinking is about working in a so-called “double diamond”. You alternate divergent and convergent thinking so as to finally find a creative, feasible, viable and desirable solution to whatever problem you might have.
And a lot of it is about participation. Participating in the process, having others outside the process participate, including your target groups. Thus, there are many elements of design thinking, that I recognise from my current work and how I view the world. Another important aspect of design thinking is prototyping. It’s vital to prototype, in order to see if what you have imagined also works in reality, with real people. This is where it gets tricky – you have to convince your company and your colleagues to want to work with prototypes, and to be open in their mindsets and not lock in on a certain way to do things. If there are improvements to be made, make them. Do not launch until you have altered according to your target groups’ needs.
In the tv-business, this translates to reference groups, dialogue, making pilots, snippets of format, rough-cut interviews, and being brave enough to show it to a selected audience before broadcast. I can assure you – this is not to everyones’ liking.
But it is the road to success.
Of course, design thinking is one model – there are thousands of other models out there. If you have a favourite model working for you – maybe a good idea could be to include some of the elements of design thinking into your existing model.
I know, that’s what I’ll do. I will go for more prototyping, more exploring divergent thinking and trying to hold the urge to come up with solutions too fast. It’s going to be interesting to see the result.
If you are interested in more info about the double diamond and design thinking, here’s a link to an article published by the UK design council.