We see Design Thinking every day -in our homes, in our businesses, in the malls, in the grocery stores, in our city and in our country. Design Thinking is used for a special motive, it can be for creativity, for business, or for sole entertainment. But still, there are some people who are not quite familiar with this concept, some people still thinking it is too hard to simply sit down and think about Design Thinking.
The real question still remains unanswered in people’s minds, how to use Design Thinking to simply improve or innovate products and services that we meet and see in our everyday lives.
Months ago, I went to Barcelona for an adventure, an adventure that completely blew my mind. Questions unanswered are still crawling up my mind, and I had to find a way to look for answers, to look for solutions that can possibly keep my mind at peace. But during this whole journey, everything kept on getting more and more complicated. How this start? You won’t believe me, but it all started because of a wall. A wall, full of questions, questions about Design. Simply Design. But I kept on thinking what if these questions are meant for Design Thinking? What if this wall, was put up there to ask ordinary people passing by, like me, questions related to this concept most of us are not familiar with?
This mere thought has kept me up for months and led me to a conquest, where I wanted to have a knowledge, if people around the world actually have an idea about Design Thinking and how it helps.
The first one in my list was of course, the country where I was born, Philippines. A beautiful and economically-stable country. I interviewed one of my colleagues, Niv John Colon, a Project Officer at one of the most known and one of the oldest banks in the Philippines, Banco de Oro (BDO). First, I wanted to know if he had any idea about innovation and how it helps him in his career before asking him about Design Thinking. He said that Innovation for him is about improving something from ordinary to extraordinary and as an employee working in a banking industry, innovation is a very important part of his career as this helps him be equipped with new knowledge and fresher ideas that are vital for the growth of his company.
But when asked about the Design Thinking method, he said he had absolutely no idea about it. This. Broke. My. Heart.
Well, I still had some hope in my heart, thinking that maybe international students who are studying in Spain would have an idea about it, and I wanted to know if in their countries, it is known. I decided to ask two of my good friends, Halyna Bezpala from Ukraine, studying Sports Science and Majd Sarhan from Syria who is studying Management in Spain. For them, Innovation is something new that didn’t exist before or a modification of something that didn’t exist with some additional characteristics with the idea of ‘newness’ and for their respective careers it is important because it influences researches about health and longevity in life and illnesses that in this time has no treat and important to stay ahead because of the huge competition between brands so the main way to stand out is to innovate.
When I asked them about Design Thinking and how it can be related to their fields, Halyna Bezpala said that with this method, we can create new approaches to measure indicators of physical or human activities like strength and stability and also a new approach to increase the efficiency of training programs. And when asked if they think they can use Design Thinking in their everyday lives, Halyna said “Individuals can use this method to improve something different or to create something different. But it depends on the character of the person. For me, in terms of the scientific way, how it should be used no, but in my own way yes, I use Design Thinking” and Majd said “I think it will help me a lot. I really need to use it. If we talk about using it in my daily life, I think I can use the tools used in this method to help me not to postpone my jobs and not to forget what I have to do”.
The last question I asked them is if in Ukraine or Syria, companies use Design Thinking and I got to know that in Ukraine, international companies and Startup companies have these methods, but majority of the business sector have not due to the traditional thinking of their society. While in Syria, it is very limited.
This conversation with them made me realize how countries differ and how the factors such as the society, can really affect companies.
My second to the last stop in this journey is to talk with a professional, who uses this method in his everyday life. Diego Gaspar, a Teamcoach for LEINN at Teamlabs, and a lecturer, mentor and a speaker. He gave me some interesting bits of his everyday life and how Design Thinking is helping him and his students. He said “Soy mentor en varias escuelas de negocio y universidades hablando sobre innovación, transformación digital y liderazgo. Es mi día a día y lo que ayudo a mis alumnos o emprendedores es motivarles para lograr procesos innovadores que hagan un cambio en su vida diaria. Personalmente tengo formación en ingeniería informática. Son metodologías que hace 20 años se hablaban o nos enseñaban cosas parecidas en la universidad. Más tarde las he ido aprendiendo en las diferentes compañias en donde he trabajado. Son metodologías que enseño y que aplico con mis clientes. No es nada nuevo, si no es pararse a pensar las cosas, crear rutinas productivas y conocer como están los demás dentro de los flujo de trabajo de la empresa”.
Today, I am still at the last stop of my journey. Realizing and experimenting on new ideas and new tools involving Design Thinking that can help not only me, but everyone else in their daily lives or their businesses. Also thinking, how with PRENDE, I can make this last stop a completely new journey by helping many other companies and maybe even a country, to educate them, about how Design Thinking can be a crucial part of their own journey. Who knows, maybe there is someone, somewhere in this world, who is planning to give up his company or career built with hardwork, but little does he know, that one of the biggest key to success, is to think the same way a Designer would do.