Almost everyone knows the concept. You hear and read it almost everywhere. But what is design thinking actually? This is where some people are at a loss. Developing new creative solutions, products and services and generating ideas and innovations in a short time – that’s what Design Thinking is all about.

19. November 2018 • Article

Design thinking promises a change of perspective. The focus on the user and the openness to new and different ideas leads to solutions beyond the ‘usual and familiar’ paths. The basis for this is a mindset that enables collaboration, experimentation and empathy for a new user experience.

As a management consultancy, we are currently noticing strong changes due to new technologies in the economy and society. Growing networking and even the disruption of entire industries are leading to increasing complexity in many companies. In a volatile environment, where technical and economic capabilities are constantly being re-evaluated, one question remains: What is the user's actual need? Design thinking focuses on the needs of the user and helps to develop a solution in six defined phases and a variety of different methods. Afterwards, the solution is tested with the user. Not only to learn more about the user himself, but also to get quick feedback from him on the developed solution. Innovations that are in fact user-centred can be created with this iterative approach.

We experienced the promised change of perspective ourselves during three days of intensive training with the Design Thinking coach Prof. Dr Thomas Afflerbach from the Hasso Plattner Institute Academy (HPI Academy) in Potsdam. An expert in the field of new innovation methods. For the topic of design thinking the HPI School of Design Thinking for students as well as the HPI Academy for professionals offer unique training opportunities.

What did the three-day design thinking workshop mean for the ‘Digitalisation and Innovation’ team led by Stefan Jaschke and Dr. Bernard Richter? Expressed here in numbers: going through two innovation sprints, building and testing four prototypes, applying twelve different methods, developing about 1,000 ideas and writing on about 100,000 post-its. Bernard explains, ‘A brilliant workshop in which we were able to pack our "method rucksack" and thus offer our customers real added value.’

In our IDEATION-TO-GO workshop, in which we provide participants with methods for finding and realising innovations, the Design Thinking method also plays an important role. In order to give our clients the greatest benefit, we are constantly repacking, expanding and supplementing our method rucksack. The most important thing is to focus on the user problem. Elements of the Design Thinking method should not be missing from process and project work because they are essential. Do new customer needs and disruptive technologies also challenge your established business model? Are you looking for an innovation for your company, do you want to expand the potential of your employees or implement a specific project or product idea? We would be happy to assist you as a competent advisor and provide you with information in a personal meeting.

Stefan Jaschke


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