Publiceret: 07.09.2017Af Liv Thøger mail
In the past, innovation and hence customer focus was concentrated in a department or with a few chosen employees in a business.
This was commonly an innovation or marketing department. That meant it was only the employees here who were ‘allowed to’ ask customers.
“With design thinking, all the company’s employees are included, from the receptionist to the director. All of them must listen to customers, visit them and sometimes even move in with them,” says Jacob Lee Ravnborg, who is chief consultant in Management Development and Productivity at the Confederation of Danish Industry.
Good examples of design thinking are for example Leo Pharma, which has gone from treating skin problems to treating people with problems with their skin. Similarly, Coloplast used to work with ileostomy bags, but today the company focuses on patients who live with a stoma.
See also: Denmark ranked among world's most inventive countries
Jacob Lee Ravnborg finds that design thinking is important in order to be prepared for challenges of the future, such as digitalisation and disruption. With the implementation of design thinking, companies get a whole new corporate culture.
“Research from the Danish Design Centre and DI from November 2016 shows that design thinking gives businesses that use the methods greater customer satisfaction, leading to more exports, higher turnover and greater profit,” says Jacob Lee Ravnborg.
According to him and the aforementioned report, three of the greatest benefits are:
1) Innovation closer to the customers, which leads to development that is based on new knowledge.
2) The company develops its business model so it is driven by the needs of customers rather than internal wishes.
3) Happier and more satisfied employees, because they are involved in the development of the company as a whole.
See also: Danish businesses use engineers for design work
After working with innovation in the industry for approximately 20 years at e.g. LEGO, Carlsberg and Brdr. Hartmann, Jacob Lee Ravnborg has gathered his three best tips for working with design thinking:
1) Divide the new thinking into smaller successes. The tools in design thinking fortunately provide quick results, which is very different from e.g. ISO-standards, which can take several years to have an effect. Allow space for experimentation, for example with many small, quick prototypes.
2) It can be difficult to change the company culture. Management must make a decision to want this and launch activities that support this decision.
3) Remember, it should be fun to work with the new tools.
Chief Consultant Jacob Lee Ravnborg
Jacob joined DI on 1 May 2017 and has worked with innovation in industry for almost 20 years at, among others, LEGO, Carlsberg and Brdr. Hartmann.
He therefore has extensive experience working with innovation across organisations, cultures and continents, and in implementing new processes and developing an innovation culture in companies.