February 27, 2017

Design Thinking – the way to escape insanity

Sanita Tripane

HR Generalist, Tieto

Ever feel like your problems are so large that they are like a maze, with no end in sight? And that you are the insane mouse trapped inside that maze?

Albert Einstein once described insanity as: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

So, what's the antidote to this? Welcome to design thinking - thinking that has to be creative and practical. At least that's what the definition says. How can we actually get from this broad theoretical understanding of the term to the actual practice? As far as I see it, there are always two main components - a person and a problem. If you apply the tactics of design thinking to problem solving, you act on your thinking by doing: you emphasize, you define, you generate ideas, and you prototype and test.

Hence, design thinking is probably the only approach that can really save us from insanity. Let me explain why.

Open source culture is our ethos

First, let's skip the problem for now and focus instead on the person. At Tieto, open source culture is embodied in our approach to communication and working life. It is the essential cornerstone around which our values are centered.  It's the most natural way for us to connect with our people - both employees and customers. Simply put, open source culture is our ethos.

Both of these things - design thinking and open source culture- require a person to constantly search for new ways to approach everyday situations. You have to tackle conundrums and struggles in a fresh way. You are no longer that mouse in a maze, chasing cheese that does not exist. You see the bigger picture. This depth of insight begins with empathy, clarity, and collaboration. You define reality, and see all the plusses and minuses. Next, you sit down with your peers and generate the best possible ideas to solve the problem. Then comes prototyping and finally testing.

Based on this approach, we know that design thinking is a pragmatic method for practicing creative and efficient problem solving. The focus is firmly on innovation, humanity and value creation. Remember this when entering the office tomorrow morning. It is our vision, our people and our value that defines us and distinguishes us from everybody else.

Break out of the maze

When we face any kind of problems or challenges in our work, we tend to look at the problem via microscope. We put all our energy into describing and redescribing the problem repeatedly. We end up puzzled, without any productive solution. Common sense tells us that if we see it like that, then it must be so.

Design thinking allows us to view the same problem, but via telescope. It changes our focus point. Suddenly, we realize that the problem might not be the problem at all. The wider lens enables us to take into account the macro perspective.

Design thinking is the IT-theme for Tieto in 2017. What is our ultimate vision at Tieto? Where do we see ourselves? What is it that our people want – both customers and employees? What is the best possible way to live out and embody our values?

Design thinking holds the key to finding the answers to these questions. And it will also let you escape from the feeling that you are an insane mouse, trapped in an insurmountable maze of problems. It's time to break out!

 

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