In our previous article, we showed how design thinking enhances logic, leading to a broader scope of understanding and therefore better business decisions. The design thinking approach also improves collaboration—a critical skill in business today.

Temporary “tiger teams” are often created with individuals from across disciplines to solve specific problems. Teams must frequently work together across cultures, overcoming a variety of communication and logistical challenges. Collaboration between business units and departments is often necessary to solve complex business challenges that touch many aspects of the organization.

Collaboration Info-graphic

However, traditional problem-solving models using inductive and deductive logic usually involve convincing others to accept one’s point of view that a particular solution is the best one. This creates a competitive and sometimes combative environment that stifles, rather than fosters, creativity and collaboration.

The design process is inherently iterative and collaborative. Experiencing it helps to expose the business to collaboration techniques that are rarely learned in business school. Collaboration goes beyond getting a bunch of people into a room together and discussing a topic. It makes space for a wide variety of opinions and thinking processes to be surfaced, and encourages all team members to see through each other’s eyes and to acquire a range of perspectives.

The design process also develops listening skills, another critical aspect of collaboration. A designer is more likely to say, “Tell me more” than, “I don’t agree”, uncovering new possibilities and ways of approaching a problem. Those involved in the process can learn new valuable new skills for observation and enquiry.

Case in Point

At Pivot, we know first-hand the power that collaboration has in generating innovative and ideal solutions to problems. Our Compass Worksessions are designed to set a collaborative tone for any design project, and we involve as many stakeholders as possible, and continue to involve them throughout the cycle.

This was the case when we created the identity, look and feel for a Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation research project. The collaboration began with breast cancer survivors and the treatment community, and continued through the design process. Read about this project >>

In the next article, we’ll demonstrate how design generates more innovative business solutions.

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