The role of design thinking in solving complex business problems in Financial Services

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Design thinking is a problem-solving approach that has been gaining popularity in recent years. The approach is grounded in empathy and human-centred design and has been used to create innovative solutions to complex problems in a variety of industries, including business. In this blog, we’ll explore the role of design thinking in solving complex business problems and why it’s a valuable tool for organisations looking to stay ahead of the curve. First, let’s define what design thinking is. Simply put, it’s a process for creatively and systematically solving problems. The design thinking process involves three main stages: Empathy, Define, and Ideate. In the empathy stage, designers immerse themselves in the lives of the people they’re designing for in order to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and challenges. In the define stage, they use this empathy to define the problem they’re trying to solve in a clear and concise manner. And in the ideate stage, they generate a wide range of ideas and prototypes to address the problem they’ve defined.

So, what makes design thinking such an effective approach for solving complex business problems? There are several key factors. Firstly, design thinking is highly collaborative. It brings together a diverse group of people with different perspectives, skills, and experiences to work on a problem. This diversity of thinking leads to a more comprehensive and innovative solution.

Another key factor is that design thinking is iterative. The process is designed to be repeated multiple times, allowing for constant refinement and improvement of the solution. This allows for a more flexible and adaptable approach, which is especially valuable in complex business environments where change is constant.
Design thinking is also highly customer-focused. In the empathy stage, designers put themselves in the shoes of the customer to understand their needs and challenges. This focus on the customer helps ensure that the solution is tailored to their specific needs and is more likely to be successful.

9 Steps for using Design Thinking

So, how can organisations (especially in FS) put design thinking into practice? There are several steps that organisations can take to adopt design thinking as a problem-solving approach:

  • Embrace a growth mindset: Design thinking requires an openness to new ideas and a willingness to experiment. Organisations must be willing to embrace failure as a necessary part of the learning process.
  • Encourage collaboration: Design thinking is a collaborative approach, so it’s important to bring together a diverse group of people with different perspectives, skills, and experiences. Risk, tech teams, the business – everyone needs to be involved.
  • Define the problem: The design thinking process starts with a clear definition of the problem. Organisations must be clear about what they’re trying to solve and why it’s important. Start with your problem statement or exam question.
  • Empathise with customers: In order to create a solution that meets customer needs, organisations must gain a deep understanding of their customers. This can be done through research, observation, and interaction with customers.
  • Ideate: Once the problem has been defined and empathy has been gained, it’s time to generate a wide range of ideas. This is a highly creative stage, and it’s important to encourage divergent thinking.
  • Prototype: The next step is to create prototypes of the best ideas. Prototyping allows organisations to test their ideas and gather feedback from customers.
  • Test: Once prototypes have been created, organisations must test them with customers. This allows for further refinement and improvement of the solution.
  • Refine: Based on feedback from customers, organisations must refine their solution until it meets the needs of their customers.
  • Implement: Finally, the solution must be implemented and integrated into the business. This requires careful planning and coordination to ensure a smooth and successful implementation.

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of financial services, it’s important for organisations to stay ahead of the curve and find innovative solutions to complex business problems. Design thinking offers a valuable approach for financial services organisations looking to solve these complex problems. By embracing a growth mindset, encouraging collaboration, and following the design thinking process, financial services organisations can create innovative solutions that meet the needs of their customers and stay ahead of the competition.