How Design Thinking Solves Complex Business Problems

At USD PCE, our goal is to stay current and lead with content that is cutting edge, proven, and immediately usable. In other words, we don’t run courses based upon what is popular today, but soon forgotten. We look for subject matter that is prevalent in different aspects of business that has been pervasive for some time. This is precisely why we have created New Courses about the Buyer’s Journey, Social Impact, Mixed Use Development, the new Fintech Bankers and Design Thinking.

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a problem-solving methodology that emphasizes a different way of understanding people. It is used for website design, software development and fostering innovation in new products and technologies

Andrew Ball, USD instructor, Human Centered Design for Business, describes the two most important steps in design thinking, what it can solve, and why design thinking in general is a part of USD DNA.

Two Most Important Steps in Design Thinking

  1. Extended Analysis of the Problem
    Often times, we don’t extend the process by which we interpret our environment, especially when problems arise. We often seek to narrowly define a challenge or problem because we prefer simple explanations over complex ones, especially in environments where there is the need to be process and action driven. While this orientation is critical for organizational success, overly mechanical ways of perceiving will not enable us to solve the challenges of an ever increasingly complex world. As we solve one challenge, we often seem to create others. These ill structured problems are what we tend, especially in the West, to not process deeply enough. Design thinking principles enable us to understand these complex environments by changing the way we frame what we see.
  2. Create Options
    Including as many people as possible in creating any kind of solution, in any human group, will automatically create buy-in, because the people involved are a part of the process. Almost no person wants to be told what to do, but many more people will engage in an initiative when they are a part of what that will look like. Furthermore, the more perspectives one can incorporate, the easier it is to develop divergent thinking and creative ideas.

Design Thinking Can Solve Complex Business Difficulties

When we catalyze design thinking at any level of an organization, we see a fast and comprehensive impact. In the not too distant future, design thinking will be so much a part of our lives that it will be indistinguishable from them. In the meantime, we need to learn the principles, so that they can become a part of how we solve problems. This is precisely why universities across the world are now integrating design thinking into the college curriculum and why we are offering a design thinking course at USD PCE. As the instructor of Human Centered Design for Business, I intend to take design thinking to the next level by understanding how human perception impacts solutions at deeper levels. This is one of the most interestingly unique, but also practical, design thinking courses out there.

Why Design Thinking at USD?

Design thinking is in-line with what makes USD a special place to learn. It matches the University’s mission of leading change. USD is an Ashoka accredited campus, which means that we use design thinking to solve challenges on campus and to improve relationships with adjacent neighbors and communities. We believe in collaboration, in humility, in listening to others, looking towards the future and continually updating what we do, not for the sake of change, but when change will make us a better institution. We believe in design thinking. Understanding design thinking is critical for being a better employee, a better person, a better creator of products, services, and experiences. If there is one subject you should learn more about this year, if there’s one subject that will fundamentally change how you see others and yourself, it’s this one. Join me to start solving your own business challenges with Design Thinking.

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