Why do companies struggle with implementing Design Thinking? | UpTop Health

Why do companies struggle with implementing Design Thinking?

4m 33s

In their One Question for UpTop Health video series, UpTop Health experts discuss why companies struggle with implementing Design Thinking. For more information: How to Use Design Thinking in Your Healthcare Organization to Drive Innovation

Moderator: John Sloat, (CEO)
Interviewees: Craig Nishizaki (Head of Business), Michael Woo (Director of UX)

Episode Transcript

Moderator: Hi, welcome to One Question with UpTop Health and today’s question is why do companies struggle with implementing design thinking? And Craig, why don’t you start us off?

Craig: Okay, that’s a great question; Design Thinking is a really popular topic. I think across enterprises trying to figure out how to create innovation to redesign things, to innovate within, not just their digital products, but also across how they work in their problem solving. One of the big problems that we’ve seen is it’s a culture change that’s needed to not just look at the mechanics of how to apply design thinking in the steps and the exercises.

It’s really about getting buy-in from leadership, then buy in from middle-management, if you will, and buy-in from the individual contributors that are doing the work, to a new way of thinking. Often times if you’re working within a company that’s focused on efficiency and productivity then this idea of innovating, which is inherently wasteful, is counter to how you function and how you do your work.

The other challenge, other than cultural, is this idea that they try to apply design thinking to a really big problem, and they bite off too much. What happens is if you create an initiative that’s too big where you don’t have enough buy-in and enough champions working within that same approach, you can get fatigued. You can not have the quick-wins that you need and ultimately it can fail. What we’ve seen in companies is there’s a lot of people that say yeah, that sounds great and then they sit on the sidelines and wait until it doesn’t work. Then they say “see I told you so”. so I think often times that’s where the challenge lies.

Michael: So, my point of view hits on some of the similar themes that Craig just talked about, first going with culture. Like Craig said, you need that in order for innovation to take place but specifically, culture needs to map to the values of design thinking; being able to focus on a user-centered mindset versus focusing on profits.

I used to work at a company years ago that had to hit a monthly subscriber number using what some would say is unethical tactics with no regard for the actual customer. Cancellation rates were always through the roof. That’s an example of not putting the customer first and when you do put them first you can have a long-term positive impact on profits versus short-term.

The other thing that Craig was talking about was you need to have the right people in place, both in leadership that support and encourage these values but also the people that know how to actually implement this methodology.

The third thing I would say is processes some organizations have are operationally or structurally not set up to be agile, quick, or iterative. You need these in order to achieve the outcomes that you’re looking for.

The last thing I would say is technology and innovation by nature challenges the convention by which you operate on today. You need to be able to think big and be willing to embrace change to achieve the vision that the organization might have. All in all, if your organization doesn’t check all these boxes, that’s okay. I think an agency of experts like us who has perfected the process can help augment what you don’t have and be a catalyst for innovation by helping you through that design thinking process, to achieve the results that you’re looking for.

Moderator: Thanks guys.

Craig/Michael: Thank you.