Design thinking can turn MSMEs to MNCs of tomorrow
Design Thinking may seem like a heavy term used by MNCs and advantaged by companies having deep pockets and may turn out to be awfully expensive affair to MSMEs. If you think like this, you have a respite… this is not always true!
Design thinking can help, forward looking and progressive, MSMEs a great chunk.
Let us understand how!
What is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking is a people centric approach based on challenging assumptions, redefining problems, and finding creative, innovative & be-spoke solutions. The focus is on understanding human needs and answering questions like what the customers/stakeholders want, what is in it for them and how can parties mutually benefit, rather than taking a product centric approach.
Understanding human needs helps redefine the core problems, identify alternative, innovative, and cognitive solutioning strategies that might not come out apparently with the initial level of understanding. The process involves-
☑ Questioning the problem statement itself;
☑ Creating many alternate ideas
☑ Adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing.
Practically, one can compare this with the situation where a patient needs a treatment. Would like to take him/her to a general medical practitioner or a specialist? The next question is whether the patient is undergoing a common flu or critical illness? This will define the next steps…
Design Thinking is such transformational force that cultures innovative thinking skills thus making products, services and experiences more relevant and solutions more productive. To be an innovator and gain a competitive advantage, MSMEs require cutting-edge creative practices embed into their business processes and corporate culture to be able to get rid of the problems in a strategic manner.
Why Design Thinking?
Most frequently, it is a human tendency to form assumptions during prima facie comprehension of the problems and find solution basis this assumption. As a result, the problem/s itself remains ill-defined quite a lot of times mainly due to reasons as limited knowledge of the user, multi-layered complex issues, deep-rooted cultural challenges etc.
The problem with the ingrained patterns of thinking is the tendency to follow the pre-set patterns which has already worked for one class of problems. This kind of pledged problem-solving strategy picked up from historic series of events may work in some situations, however it does take away the innovative see-though mindset which is utmost required due to external and internal environment in which SMEs are operating in.
Why MSMEs should act fast?
Forward looking and progressive MSMEs must act fast on Design thinking because –
☑ Global MNCs as well as present day fintech start-ups are posing a tough competition to traditional brick and mortar industries.
☑ Within the MSME space, the high-end firms at every nook and corner of the city leading to over-crowded space in each industry sector.
☑ There is internal distraction like financing, supply chain, logistics, and resourcing that CEOs are pre- occupied with.
As a result, to be able to stand out, organisations need to transform into fluid enterprise structures showcasing ‘out of box thinking’ based innovative solutioning instead of following established SOP based methods. This is where instead of traditional problem-solving techniques; innovative thinking or ‘Design Thinking’ helps.
Historically, it has been observed that the MSMEs have been relying on informal channels or the already occupied top management to solve these problems which have been able to contribute to the best of their capacity in terms of time. There has been little to no traction on exploring more scientific, cognitive, innovative, or structured way of solving these problems with the help of professionals.
Look forward to my next article on “Design Thinking”, Next week, for further details and tangible next steps.
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