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January 26, 2016

Design Thinking: What's In It For Us?

Posted by Pramod Prakash Panda (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:32 AM

Service offering on Design Thinking and design-led initiatives [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZBRZXcaNp4]

Infosys has been deemed a Leader in the Winner's Circle in the HfS Research Design Thinking Blueprint, for excellence in innovation and execution. Our clients are really beginning to reap value from our Design Thinking services, spanning strategic consulting, digital experience redesign, and even training. Recognitions such as this clearly bear testimony to that value.

But, a more interesting question is what Design Thinking might have had to offer to us - the people.

73,000 Infoscions (and counting) have been through Design Thinking workshops. We've put that learning into practice to collectively come up with thousands of innovative ideas, channeled through the Zero Distance framework And of course, it befits our track record as the company with the one of the largest corporate training facilities in the world to have set a record of sorts in Design Thinking training as well.

That being said, the Design Thinking session is not just another entry on our pretty busy training calendar. Design Thinking, while being a skill, is more than just that; it's a way of life. It has the power to change the world around us, and the one within. It helps us bring back our focus to the things that really, truly matter, to discovering the greatest problems and challenges of our times, so we may then go on to overcome them with equally great solutions.

While this may sound grand, it is nothing less than the need of the hour. In study after study, leading organizations around the world have spoken their mind about how technology companies have evolved into super-efficient execution machines, but stopped short of making a strategic difference. These organizations speak from experience, having poured big bucks to plug new solutions into the same old ways of doing business, with little to show for it than the same mess for less. That's because over the years, technology providers have perfected the art of the solution, without getting into the heart of the problem. Traditionally, innovators pour their all into creating the solution, but that alone is rarely enough.

Design Thinking enables us to strike at the root of this issue. Its starting point is empathy, a state of connecting deeply with customers by helping them discover their biggest problems. Those of us who have been through the program know that the solution comes later, and when it does, must be evaluated using the 'Desirability, Feasibility, Viability' framework to establish that it is indeed something our customers will deeply care about, is technically possible to produce/ deliver, and is commercially sustainable. This approach brings together our skills and the customer's need through a life cycle of rapid prototyping, early validation, and iterative, agile processing repeated till the most desirable solution is found.

As individuals, Design Thinking reminds us of our true purpose, which is to fulfill the deepest needs of our clients, even helping them find and frame those needs where necessary. It gives direction and meaning to our work, empowers each one of us to co-build the environment around us and helps us be equal partners in finding and solving both the seen or unseen problems around us. It helps us stay ahead of the curve, as purposeful new-age professionals and as an organization.

Now, if that is not professional insurance, I don't know what is.

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