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HR Goes Creative - Adopting A Design Thinking Approach

HR Goes Creative - Adopting A Design Thinking Approach

Posted on 10th Dec, 2020

HR Goes Creative - Adopting A Design Thinking Approach

What is design thinking?

While simply put, design thinking is a process for creative "problem solving," the main premise design thinking is being a process that takes an iterative approach to solving complex problems.

This process is human centric,whichmeans the customer (or the employee, as in HR's design thinking) is placed at the centre of the process, with design thinkers taking an outside-in rather than an inside-out approach to problem solving. This means that not only can complex questions be answered, but the right questions to answercan also be found.

The flow of design thinking typically flows throughcollecting inspiration, nurturingand concretizing ideas, and sharing the narrative to create innovative solutions, by way of:

  • Empathizing with clientsand understanding their needs and frustrations.

  • Defining the problem.

  • Brainstorming to recognize and select the best ideas and solutions.

  • Creating prototypes to test what works and what does not.

  • Redefining solutions if need be by learning about users through testing tofind a solution best fitting the customers' needs.

Taking an iterative, design thinking approach in HR

The principles of an iterative processaretrying, failing, and improving; and it is these very principles which are critical to success in design thinking.

Largely, this is diametrically opposite to the oft adopted waterfall-like, cascading approach, where projects or programs are designed in sequential, hierarchical stages, resulting inone solution which then rolled out, with the program ending then and never revisited, improved, or assessed – whereby, by the time a program is ready to be rolled out, something similar is already being done by competitors, stakeholders need some change, or the solution has already become obsolete.

Design thinking' shuman centric, iterative processing framework instead enables HR to think beyond the conventional process and pre-programmed approach to service delivery, and instead focus on the experience and outcomes that that the program being rolled out is looking to bring about.This approachopens the doors for HR to don a new role, transforming HR from a process developer into an experience designer.

Encouraging design thinking ensures that individuals and teams that are part of the business are now more empowered and more accountable to gather insights that begin with the question: "How might we," with "how" enabling a solution-oriented focus, "might" encouraging optimism and "we" characterizinga collaborative outlook.