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Is design thinking the answer to your company’s innovation problem? Are you really thinking about your customers when applying design thinking to your business strategies? These are some of the questions Vision Critical Founder and President Andrew Reid tackles in his latest article featured in WIRED.

Design thinking works because it requires both empathy and creativity, combining product design with human behavior in the process. It involves defining the problem, researching a solution, ideating with others, prototyping and then choosing the best option.

Many innovative companies—including Apple, Inc.—are already pioneering the idea of design thinking, but what’s the future of this approach and how valuable is the customer voice? Here’s Andrew’s take:

As an entrepreneur and creative at heart, I see the future of design thinking to involve the following three C’s:

Companies: Design consulting firms like IDEO will be just as common as financial consulting firms. As the number one design consulting company, IDEO is embracing the need of human interaction and is encouraging design thinking through and through, while stressing the need for human connectivity. It recently infused the design thinking process in Kraft’s supply chain management model, which proved to be hugely valuable. An entire industry centered around design thinking will soon form—it won’t just be a process anymore. As a business leader, you’ll have to stop and ask some questions as design thinking goes mainstream. Am I taking advantage? Am I having the right conversations with the people that matter most to my business?

Creatives: Design thinking has come a long way and will continue to push limits with how it’s being applied in the real world. Though creatives will remain the backbone of the process, their role will be redefined. And, those considered creative will be slightly different in comparison to the conventional definition.

Communities: What has traditionally been known as market research will be at the forefront of supporting successful design thinking. By being able to gain the attitudes and opinions of tens of thousands of individuals at a time through communities of customers, brands can enable ideation and co-creation—something essential in the design thinking and innovation processes. Look no further than our trendsetting clients like Discovery Communications, Molson Coors, NASCAR and John Deere — all already embracing a community-based approach to collaborating with their customers.

Check out the entire article in WIRED here.

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Kelvin Claveria

Kelvin Claveria was the former Content Marketing Manager and was responsible for Vision Critical's blog and social media marketing program. Before joining Vision Critical's global marketing team, Kelvin worked at Dunn PR, a Vancouver-based public relations firm. His experience includes working with lifestyle, real estate, and non-profit clients to develop social media marketing and PR strategies. Kelvin has a Bachelor of Business Administration from SFU's Beedie School of Business.
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