Business Design
June 6, 2023

3 Essential Business Design thinking strategies

Are you looking for ways to drive innovation in your business? If so, it's time to consider implementing design thinking strategies. Business design thinking is an innovative approach that combines creativity and critical thinking to solve complex problems. This process has become increasingly popular among businesses worldwide because of its ability to drive significant results while fostering a collaborative work environment. 

Roald Larsen

In this blog post, we'll explore the ins and outs of business design thinking, including the process, benefits, and challenges that come with it. We'll also provide tips on getting started using business design thinking today!

What is business design thinking?

Business design thinking is an approach that combines creative and analytical methods to solve complex business problems. It involves putting the customer at the center of everything you do, focusing on creating innovative solutions that meet their needs.

This methodology emerged from the design industry but has since been adopted by businesses across various sectors. The goal is to create a human-centered approach to problem-solving, which considers all stakeholders involved in a project or initiative.

Business Design Thinking enables companies to innovate faster through a collaborative process that puts people first— solving problems creatively while keeping end-users' needs at its core.

The Design Thinking Process

The Design Thinking Process is a human-centered problem-solving approach involving empathy, creativity, and experimentation. It is an iterative process that consists of five stages: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.

In the Empathize stage, designers try to understand users' needs by observing and engaging with them. This stage helps designers gain insights into users' experiences and identify opportunities for innovation.

In the Define stage, designers synthesize their findings from the Empathize phase into a clear problem statement that defines the challenge they will tackle in subsequent steps. Defining the problem statement focuses on the design process and helps ensure solutions are aligned with users' needs.

Ideation involves brainstorming ideas without any constraints or criticism. In this phase of the design thinking process, participants come up with as many ideas as possible, no matter how crazy they may sound at first glance.

Prototyping involves creating low-fidelity representations of potential solutions, such as sketches or models, which help test if these initial ideas align with what users need/want.

Finally, testing brings it all together, where prototypes created during the ideation phase are tested on real-life scenarios/users/objects, etc., refining features till it reaches their desired form/functionality level. 

The Design Thinking Process provides a structured framework for solving complex problems creatively while putting people at its center point – ensuring their needs drive every decision made along each step of this journey!

The three main strategies of business design thinking

The three main strategies of business design thinking are centered around the customer, prototyping and iteration, and collaboration. Let's take a closer look at each one.

Focusing on the customer is critical to designing successful products or services. By understanding their needs, wants, and desires through research and empathy, businesses can create solutions that meet their customers' needs.

Secondly, prototyping and iteration involve creating low-fidelity versions of your product or service before investing in expensive development. Prototyping allows for testing with real users early in the process, which helps identify flaws before it's too late.

Collaboration is essential to ensure that all stakeholders have input throughout the process. Business design thinking encourages cross-functional teams from various organizational departments to work together towards achieving a common goal - creating a user-centered solution that solves a problem.

By implementing these three strategies into your design thinking process, you'll be able to create innovative solutions that meet and exceed your customers' expectations while driving growth for your business.

How to use business design thinking to drive innovation in your organization

Business design thinking can be a powerful tool for driving organizational innovation. Here are some tips on how to use it effectively:

1. Start by understanding your customers' needs and pain points. Use empathy to put yourself in their shoes and think about what they want from your product or service.

2. Collaborate with cross-functional teams to generate new ideas and solutions. This type of collaboration can help break down silos within the organization and ensure that everyone's perspectives are considered.

3. Prototype early and often to test different ideas before investing too much time or money. Prototyping can help you quickly identify what works and what doesn't, allowing you to pivot if needed.

4. Iterate based on feedback from users, stakeholders, and other team members involved in the process. Continuously refining your ideas will allow you to create better products that meet the needs of your target audience more effectively.

By using business design thinking as a framework for innovation, organizations can create products that truly resonate with their customers while staying ahead of competitors in an ever-changing market landscape.

Benefits of Design Thinking

Design thinking is not just a problem-solving methodology but also brings several benefits. One of the significant advantages of design thinking is that it enables teams to think out of the box and come up with innovative solutions. The process encourages people to look beyond their assumptions and biases about how things should work.

Another benefit of design thinking is that it fosters collaboration among team members from different disciplines. Organizations can leverage their collective expertise to create more effective solutions by involving people from diverse backgrounds in the brainstorming process. Design thinking also encourages empathy towards users or customers, which helps companies understand their needs better.

Design thinking empowers individuals and teams by providing a framework for creative problem-solving. It allows them to take risks and experiment without fear of failure since every prototype iteration is an opportunity to learn something new.

Moreover, design thinking promotes agility within organizations by encouraging iterative development instead of linear processes. The approach allows businesses to pivot when they encounter unforeseen challenges or opportunities.

Implementing design thinking as a culture in an organization can increase employee engagement and satisfaction since employees feel empowered by being part of a collaborative team solving real-world problems creatively.

Challenges of Design Thinking

Like any other innovation strategy, design thinking also has its own challenges. Fear of failure is one of the biggest obstacles in implementing design thinking. Many organizations are afraid to take risks and try new things because they want to save resources and protect their reputation.

Another challenge is the need for more buy-in from senior leadership. Getting the funding and resources needed for design thinking initiatives can be easier with upper management's support.

Limited resources can also pose a challenge when implementing design thinking strategies. Organizations may need more budget or staff to carry out specific steps in the process effectively.

In addition, time constraints can hinder the effective use of design thinking. It requires a significant amount of time and effort to research and understand user needs, brainstorm ideas, prototype solutions and test them before implementation.

Collaboration between different departments and teams within an organization can be challenging as there may be differing opinions on how best to approach problems using design thinking methods.

Despite these challenges, however, many successful organizations have overcome them by embracing a risk-taking culture that encourages experimentation and iteration; gaining support from top-level executives; seeking external partnerships for additional expertise; allocating sufficient funds towards projects that involve human-centered approaches while involving diverse teams with varied skillsets including designers who bring unique perspectives into problem-solving efforts thus ensuring tremendous success in their design-thinking driven innovations!

Tips for getting started with business design thinking

Getting started with business design thinking can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some tips to help you get going:

1. Start small: Wait to tackle your biggest challenge. Instead, start with a minor problem that you can work on using design thinking principles.

2. Involve your team: Design thinking is most effective when it's a collaborative effort. Get your team involved in the process from the beginning.

3. Be open-minded: One critical tenet of design thinking is openness to new ideas and perspectives. Keep an open mind throughout the process and encourage others to do so.

4. Embrace failure: Not every idea or approach will work out, and that's okay! Failure is often necessary for innovation, so don't fear it.

5. Iterate often: Design thinking is an iterative process, meaning you'll likely need to go through several rounds before arriving at a final solution. Keep going even if things work perfectly on the first try.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way toward incorporating business design thinking into your organization's innovation strategy!


In today's fast-paced business world, innovation is critical to staying ahead of the competition. Business design thinking offers a robust framework for driving innovation and creating customer-centric solutions that address real-world problems.

By following the design thinking process and implementing one or more of the three strategies we've outlined – empathizing with customers, prototyping ideas quickly, and testing assumptions – you can unlock new opportunities for growth and success.

Remember, though: while there are many benefits to using design thinking in your organization, it's not without its challenges. You'll need buy-in from stakeholders at all levels of your company and a willingness to experiment and iterate on your ideas until you find what works best.

But if you're willing to put in the effort, business design thinking can transform your organization into an innovative force that drives long-term success. So why not get started today? Use these tips and strategies to begin incorporating business design thinking into your work – who knows where it might take you!

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