Over the past few month we have worked with numerous business to help them establish new services and design innovative customer experiences. Many of our engagements leverage the Design Thinking methodology as the basis for our interactions and clients are always intrigued by the approach. Last week I was approached by one of our customers who asked the simple questions of “what is the magic to the Design Thinking methodology. Why is it so special?”
After giving some thought to the question I went straight to the topic of empathy. The interesting thing about the methodology is that it starts with empathy even before defining the problem you are solving. Many people attack a problem in a linear format – here is an issue, what are ways to solve the issue, implement ideas that seem to fit. Design Thinking is just the reverse – you identify an opportunity, but you hold off on identifying an issue until you apply a level of empathy or observation. In some cases the issue is just as hypothesized and you move forward with creating ideas for solving the issue. In many cases you find that the issue was the result of something else. Applying a level of empathy allows you to get to the root cause of a challenge. It also allows you to identify multiple approaches for solving the root cause, rather than just band aiding the superficial outcomes.
At Stonehill we are proud to have cross functional teams that approach all opportunities with a central approach. We work as a team to not just fix a problem, but to develop innovative solutions that allow our clients to grow faster than previously thought. As Henry Ford once said – “if I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” We understand how to listen, we understand how to ideate, and we are driven to develop solutions that are unique.