Design Thinking: Structured, Disciplined Creativity

Design thinking is a set of transferable skills based on the way that designers approach, understand, and solve complex problems.

What's the problem? Across Corporate America, decision-making at the Board and the C-suite level is driven by convergent thinking—a speedy, logic-based search for the "right" answer. Convergent thinking relies on applying the already-acquired knowledge and experience of the individuals in the room, seeking to shoehorn any and all new challenges into the comfortable solution framework of "the way things are done." 

This approach works until an Outsider takes the time to question the industry’s orthodoxies. Radically re-envisioning the industry, this Outsider creates a step-change in efficiencies, processes, or applies technology in inventive ways, delighting customers, overtaking competitors, and driving rapid growth.

The Outsider's innovation, in hindsight, often seems like advanced common sense, but the solutions have been missed because incumbent organizations relied too heavily on “what they know” and "how things are done." 

What's the solution? When teams and organizations adopt the language, mindset, and culture of design thinking, they uncover powerful, fresh perspectives akin to those of “innovative disruptors” and create value for their customers and the organization at large.  

Design thinking is a set of transferable skills based on the way that designers approach, understand, and solve complex problems. It is a disciplined, four-phase process for engaging your customers and gaining actionable Insights.

How does it work in practice? How does it work in practice? Let’s try this example: at #CES2018, Toyota unveiled its new mobility ecosystem and e-Palatte concept vehicle. The obvious reframe is from selling the means of transportation (cars) to enabling mobility itself (via custom-designed pods). This is great for Toyota, but what about component manufacturers, dealers, and consumers?

How might Toyota embrace their existing dealer network to guide the human experience of transitioning from owning cars to buying mobility?

Join us as we explore this initiative using the four phases of design thinking:

  1. Discovery: engage customers with authentic curiosity
  2. Insights: identify actionable patterns and themes across customers

  3. Ideation: craft targeted, specific business questions

  4. Experimentation: adopt a hypothesis-driven, iterative process for low-risk, low-cost, and high-reward value creation


At The Berkeley Innovation Group, we are co-creators, working shoulder-to-shoulder with your team on immersive design thinking projects to solve core business challenges. Moreover, individuals on your team are empowered with enhanced skills and a common language to continue using design thinking methodologies to unlock innovation and value for the long run.

Want to learn more about working together? Send us a note via our contact form, below.