4 Minutes
   //   Mar 10, 2021

Designing Strategies for Businesses

Priyanka Jeph

In the ever-evolving world, people's needs are changing unprecedently across the globe. These changing needs are being led by unpredictability in the economical, social and emotional fronts.

Businesses need to develop new ways of strategizing and planning to find solutions to these unrehearsed problems. Creative strategies through the designer's toolkit can help businesses build resilience, improve, innovate and thrive.

"Design is not about making things pretty, it's not limited to aesthetics and trends. It's about solving problems with a humanitarian approach, also making them appealing at the same time."

Driven by the pandemic, design, and technological innovation the health industry is shifting entirely into the digital world, transforming people's experiences and expectations. The Rise of E-Learning is making education more accessible and providing a new source of optimism in the face of uncertainty.

Looking at some of these examples we understand that change has become fundamental, we need design-based strategies for future-proof businesses. This blog covers some of the most common and relatable problem-solving approaches from the designer's toolkit that can help businesses change, adapt and live up to people's needs in continuously changing business environments.

Problem Solving Approach

The problem-solving approach starts with the identification of the problem, its causes, and environmental factors that contribute to it. In the design process, a systematic analysis of the problem is done to identify what we have to live with and what needs to change. This approach results in the ideation and implementation of the solution. It also involves measuring the solution to justify that problem is solved to an extent. 

The following points define different ways to follow a systematic approach to solve problems.

1. People-Centric Approach

All-inclusive research and analysis of the end-user, their surroundings, needs, desires, and environment is a fundamental approach to design, innovate, and build. The insights from this process of design guide the entire product journey.

2. Solving Complex Problems

Complex problems are overwhelming and we can solve them with a more focused approach. Breaking down complex problems into smaller parts enables us to understand and tackle issues without being overwhelmed.

3. Finding Systematic solutions

Thinking in systems can break down silos, encourage creative exchange, and foster progressive collaboration. This approach of creating systemic solutions is particularly effective when businesses face multiple challenges and require one modular solution.

4. Experiment and Play

All work, all play as the design process says, people-centered businesses should create a work culture where experimentation and its play is seen as a constructive tool for progress. This approach is particularly relevant for the ideation and acceptance of ideas in a nonhierarchical manner.

5. Learn from Failures

Design is not easily spooked from failure. Designers usually embrace failure as part of the learning, thinking, and making process. This approach requires removing the taboos around failure and mistakes to transform failures into mapping opportunities to progress and do better.

6. Envision

Designer's way of mapping multiple scenarios can help businesses define the goals and imagine a future based on their perspective and knowledge. Businesses of the new world need new ways to envision their way forward. The approach to imagine, envision, and thinking for the long term helps to construct successful strategies for the future. Imagination allows to push of limits and extract fresh ideas to also accelerate innovation in current work. 

7. Speculate

A speculative approach to thinking allows businesses to imagine the future and collect insights into the present circumstances. Solutions derived from speculative thinking are focused on what people would want and demand from the products and services of tomorrow. It’s crucial to be aligned with the needs and desires of the people to ensure an open mind and a flexible approach to strategize careful plans.

8. Embrace Constraints

Every once in a while stepping out of the routine and breaking the rules help creative perspectives flow freely. Research suggests that limited resources and time constraints create an emergency that allows creativity and innovation to flourish. This creative experimentation can provide solutions with new mindsets and innovative processes.

In Conclusion

The problem-solving approach from the designer's toolkit makes the process of creating strategies exciting, motivating, and ambitious. It helps to turn problems into opportunities while also engaging employees in interdisciplinary collaboration.
Businesses that embrace failures and the attitude to experiment, play and adapt, learn from mistakes to strategize, operate and innovate with new ideas and a creative mindset. As Jeff Bezos also explained in his 2018 stakeholders letter, "If the size of your failures isn’t growing, you’re not going to be inventing at a size that can move the needle." 
These different problem-solving approaches also help businesses create all-inclusive processes resulting in mutual benefits for all stakeholders while also preserving optimism through designing mindful strategies and creativity.