Photo by Elia Mörling
Have you been toiling throughout 2018 to create a culture of innovation, a lean culture, or one of continuous improvements? Changing the way your employees think and act can be tough. As humans, we are naturally resistant to change. If real, meaningful change hasn’t occurred within the past 5 years, it can be hard for us to see the merits in it. It’s even harder to recognize the merits of change over the discomfort that this shift will inherently bring.
Today we are even starting see companies shy away from terms like “innovation”. While there are probably a number of reasons behind this shift, the word conveys the idea of going big, failing hard, and radically shifting your company. The word innovation and its overuse, has become obtuse; it’s actually become murky and unclear. It’s now a catchall phrase - which means that it can potentially mean nothing at all.
Design Thinking is an increasingly popular school of thought that can help you lessen the discomfort of change, proving its merits, and pinpointing where change can and will occur within your organization. What exactly do we mean by this?
As evidenced in this article by the Harvard Business Review, the design thinking process is one of inclusion. Where innovation might be serviced by singular departments, or reserved for the “experts”, design thinking relies on the inclusion of highly varied groups of participants - from different experiences, departments, age, gender, etc.
Including people in the process of creating change, you reduce their opposition to it. By involving more people in the exciting process of creating new products and services, overcoming obstacles or barriers to success, etc. rather than delivering dictates or directives, you will excite and inspire them to embrace the change.
Millennials make up a large portion of today’s workforce. Reports show that these younger team members have a desire to learn and grow within their positions, and that they respond well to companies who invest in their training, learning and growth as an individual.
By inviting these young team members to take part in the various workshops that make up the design thinking process, you are providing exciting opportunities. These team members will recognize that they are being included and invited to participate in the creation or shaping or corporate policies and product offerings. In turn, they will feel valued and appreciated, and become more productive in their individual team roles.
Companies who lack a process for creating change, like the design thinking process, may implement broad changes without the proper testing and validation. This knee jerk change process turns employees from product team members into guinea pigs. If this unplanned change process continues or is repeated, morale among team members will drop, leaving them feeling both uninspired, and unappreciated.
When you involve your team members in the design thinking process, from empathy mapping, to implementing a product, service, change, etc. they are involved in trying and testing the idea before it affects their job. By involving them in the process, you are proving to them that their time is valuable, and that you wouldn’t waste it with unfounded change requests.
These easy to use templates, empower your employees and digitize the workshop experience. You save time, gain better results and inspire your team to lift your organization to new heights. From the very first workshop, you gain the skill of an expert and begin to instill a culture of design thinking within your organization, making success, a systematic process rather than a gamble.