How can IBM Design Thinking improve your business?

Sweha Hazari  |  November 20, 2019

How can IBM Design Thinking improve your business?

Conversations regarding business design and strategy are often heard in boardrooms, business conferences and in interviews with famous entrepreneurs.

The modern business world is hung up on creating the next successful business design like Amazon. Companies spend thousands of dollars on building better designs and business models, yet often, there is room for improvement.

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple said: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Great business designs are responsive to the needs of the customers, are simple to incorporate and show immediate results. A good business design can be the difference between a struggling start-up and a roaring business.

IBM is one of the oldest, most successful organisations in the world and has been a frontrunner in establishing the concept of good business designs. The IBM “Design Thinking” program is world-renowned and has helped a lot of businesses acquire financial success.

If you wish to learn more about the program and check if it is feasible for your business, this blog can help you. Read on to find out more about Design Thinking, the benefits of investing in this IBM initiative and the success story of Whirlpool.

What is IBM Design Thinking?

Design Thinking can be defined as a process for coming up with newer business models that adhere to the needs of customers, make use of advancements in technology and meet the requirements of the business.

For instance, if you own a digital media company that produces advertisements on behalf of other corporations, IBM Design Thinking can help you generate newer approaches to connect with the target audience. It may also involve the integration of the latest video editing software to reduce the time for drafting advertisements or fresh ideas to help your employees collaborate efficiently. 

Why should you invest in IBM Design Thinking?

All businesses have a never-ending list of goals from new product launches to better customer engagement. The IBM Design Thinking process solves the critical issues that may crop up while achieving these goals/ These issues may include obsolete software, manual errors or lack of enthusiasm among employees.

Here are a few ways that implementing IBM Design Thinking can help you realize your goals:

  1. Collaboration: Great designs draw inspiration from the surrounding culture and depend on feedback from the whole team. Design Thinking can encourage collaborations within teams and among them to come up with effective production or process-revival designs.
  2. User focus: One huge benefit of Design Thinking is that it is focused on the end-user. Whether it’s about developing a new technology or new project management process, defining who will be using the business solution is important for understanding exactly how to develop it. This is also helpful in plenty of other business contexts. For instance, when executives think about employee benefits and perks, it pays to think about it from the employee perspective and how it will affect them, as the users.
  3. Better processes: Design Thinking involves testing ideas by creating prototypes or sketches and getting feedback early in the process. This can help lead to big business breakthroughs—from executive leadership decisions to customer service and call centre procedures. It also keeps businesses from investing a lot of time and money into solutions that may not work.
  4. Higher morale: Sometimes, changing and restructuring processes can be stressful for the entire organization. Having a Design Thinking mindset can remind both businesses and individuals of the availability of solutions which can be encouraging and support the business. Implementing IBM Design Thinking can offer businesses creative innovations that were not previously thought of or even possible. Using design thinking tools like visualizations, journey-mapping, storytelling, and rapid prototyping are a way to grow past your previous potential and charter new territories.

Whirlpool—an IBM Design Thinking success story

Whirlpool is one of the biggest manufacturers of home electronic appliances in the world. After leading the home appliances market for a year, Whirlpool was lagging behind other competitors, owing to elongated downtime, lack of resources and a lack of flexibility in adapting to the latest organisational software. The company’s existing organisational systems were dependent on manual labour and supported by an inadequate in-house infrastructure.

With IBM’s Design Thinking program in place and a collaboration with IBM services, Whirlpool senior management came up with a series of fresh ideas to drive innovation. The employee management and organizational responsibilities were migrated to IBM services which meant Whirlpool employees could spend more time focusing on innovation.

Whirlpool is one of the many companies that has seen a positive shift in their productivity and problem-solving as a result of implementing the IBM Design Thinking process. This list includes many other famous names such as Generali and Intuit. Incorporating the Design Thinking programme in your company would help take your organisation forward.

To implement the program, you would also need a clear idea of other business metrics such as revenue generation or performance metrics. One way to accomplish this is to pursue a business degree that gives you an overview of all the important tenets of corporations.

The MBA degree offered by University Canada West (UCW) can be your guide to the world of strategy-making with IBM Design Thinking and other leading digital software integrated into courses. To learn more about the integration and to understand more about Design Thinking, click here.

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