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Creative leadership isn’t about leaders simply becoming more creative. It’s about individuals leading for creativity. That means you, as a leader, must unlock the creative potential of people you are working with, no matter the industry. It’s your job to set the conditions for your team to generate, embrace, and execute on new ideas. All this with the help of design thinking.
Design thinking is an iterative process with a human-centered approach to innovation, that origin from the designer’s toolkits. Design thinking integrates the needs of stakeholders, technology potential, and opportunities for business success. It enables organizations to create lasting value for employers and end-consumers.
It is a powerful framework for innovation, collaboration, and product/process improvements.
There are many different design thinking methodologies and frameworks (more than 15), but usually, the design thinking process has 5 main steps:
Design thinking is way more than just “workshops.”
A Design Thinking workshop is an activity-based session built around the Design Thinking process. It can last a few hours, full day, two days, or even a full week—it all depends on the team size, context and the workshop goals.
In order to get familiar with basic principes, we suggest you to scale-down the design thinking process to 3 main steps:
The “three I” process is exploratory and as such, it is not rigid or sequential. That means you can go back to some previous phase at any time while dealing with the problem.
Each of them contains many processes that lead, step by step, to the completion of one step and moving to the next one. But, as I said, you can always consult any question you need from the previous phase.
This step includes the identification and definition of the business problem or the opportunity. The best thing is to answer as many questions as you can and make the problem less confusing and abstract. Here are some examples of questions you can make:
For this phase you need to create a very comfortable environment for each team member: a very free and pleasant atmosphere, where people will have great psychological security. Holding a curious mindset is a great starting point when you’re leading a team.
Unlock your creative potential! Now when you have the issue you are facing well defined, you can start with the process of brainstorming.
During this process you and your team should investigate the ways you can solve the problem and generate as many ideas as you can. It is very important to have in mind what expected user value and the final user's needs.
When you’ve finished presenting different solutions, you should organize and synthesize the information. You can pick the best ideas with your team, by discussing the flaws and advantages of each one. Then you start to design prototypes, which will help you try out your ideas and communicate them with the external users (people that don’t have to do anything with the process). They will help you understand which idea they see as the most useful solution for the presented problem.
We recommend that prototypes are low-fidelity in order to optimize time and resources.
This process includes picking up the best low-fidelity prototype and designing experiences (high-fidelity prototype). Then you start validating concepts with test users (internal stakeholder testing, focus groups, etc) and figuring out what works and what does not. You need to be sure that your product concept has value-proposition for end-users, and that it would be possible to achieve product-market fit. As you gain valuable insights and feedback, you need to go back to the drawing board and improve and adapt your prototype.
If you want to learn more, Creitive is offering Design Thinking training services