Who hasn’t heard of Design Thinking, this fashionable innovation tool?

Many of our customers have taken this step. During our interventions in the field, we were able to observe 4 pitfalls related to the tool itself or its deployment.

Pitfall 1: Lack of resources

Design Thinking (of products or services) is above all a collective approach which consists of implementing innovation by observing and analyzing the needs of users. The two necessary prerequisites for this approach are the multidisciplinarity of the team as well as an external facilitator who is not involved in the project.

We note that these prerequisites are not accessible to all companies, especially small ones or freelancers, for either structural or cost reasons. Also, to implement a Design Thinking approach in the rules of the art, there must be a real will of the Management so that it can provide adequate human and financial resources.

Pitfall 2: We do not work enough on economic viability

Innovating is exhilarating, imagining new products or services is an exciting exercise, but too often we focus on desirability (need) and technical feasibility. And we too often forget about economic viability. It is true that the latter is considered the least attractive of the steps in the process, but it is just as important as the others. Indeed, product or service innovation must be economically solid or risk never seeing the light of day or putting the company in danger. Thus, the economic viability of an innovation must be worked on in close connection with strategic foresight, because innovation must be long-term.

Pitfall 3: A tool focused on the present

If Design Thinking is an interesting approach to innovation, the tool remains too focused, by its very nature, on the present, on the current needs and desires of users. Innovation can and must also draw its inspiration and feasibility from possible futures. It is therefore necessary to integrate, within the framework of its acceptable loss, the possible evolutions of elements of its market (it is a question here of innovating by integrating the principles of effectuation): a technology still immature today could very well be available shortly. The same goes for a just emerging need that can be identified with an analysis of weak signals. However, this does not sufficiently fall within the scope of Design Thinking, which is too rooted in the present and identified needs.

To solve this problem, we must complete the Design Thinking approach with strategic foresight . It analyzes emerging trends by examining the environment from all angles (economic, sociological, legal, technological, etc.). It identifies the signals of change, even the weakest ones. It helps to build realistic and plausible scenarios. And, in the face of uncertainty, there is not just one future to predict but several futures to prepare. Strategic foresight (which is not forecast) consists of the ability to project the company and its innovations into a probable and/or desirable future and to turn each event, positive or negative, into an opportunity.

Pitfall 4: Taking action

Imagining, creating… that’s good… prototyping is better. Launching into the “Build (the prototype) Measure Learn” loop … is necessary to succeed.

How many projects have remained in the cabinets for lack of action or deployment of innovation because the company stops along the way for lack of resources, skills, or simply for fear of failure or change? We need to assess the risk in terms of acceptable loss in order to move forward serenely.

It is essential, from the start of the process, to have the will to go all the way with the desire to succeed. And for good reason, without innovation, the company is doomed to disappear quickly at the risk of being overtaken by its competition. How then to meet the needs of its market and its customers? This is where innovation becomes a strategic factor in your business.

It is by drawing inspiration from, merging Design Thinking, effectuation and strategic foresight that innovation takes on its full meaning to improve, consolidate or revolutionize your business model. This is what we call Business Design.

To find out more about the performance… it’s here