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How can I start the Design Think way?

Design Think is simple. It is the art of being creative in finding new solutions to problems that generally are solved in a normal way. We can take it one step further and apply it to a problem that has not been dealt with yet and needs a creative solution.  Big corporations spend time and money in creating solutions on a big scale.  So the question you should be asking yourself is why can’t I? Simply put, all you need is to think how have people approached this problem before and how can I do it better? Tweaking your thought process is the hard part but it gets easier as you practice.

If your mind set is in the norm, it is time to think big, bold and borderline irrational. Thinking big can help creativity skyrocket.  Introducing realism into the group of thoughts will help you bring them back to real world scenarios and streamline yourself to a workable solution! Take the workable solution and find technology and partnerships that can help streamline your business to provide your customers what they need and in turn solidifying your business is operating at an optimum.

When looking at clients that have requested Design Think, the first step is to analyze what is the current problem and the procedure associated with it.  The next step is to talk to everyone directly involved.  Again this means EVERYONE and not just management. Your company is a team that includes the front line and most importantly your customers are part of it. With social media growing at an astonishing rate, talking to your customers has never been easier.  Being that they are not face to face, ugly truths are easier to be divulged.  They will tell you what needs to be changed. The problem then becomes the how… that may just be the easy part!

Communication Change in Corp World

We have all been involved in large organizations. We have all witnessed what it is like to work with others in a massive team. We have worked the jobs at the bottom of the chain and also the ones at the top. Various understanding of how to deal with people exists and it is usually based on previous experience, culture, society norm, and so on.

What I noticed while working with some big corporations, is that people tend to stick to what they know. They don’t like change and certainly not anything that will compromise their job/career. It is intuitive that they follow procedure.

Does this make or break a corporation? Well startups are in a different position. They are able to create a different culture and develop new approaches to their work flow. Usually this can give them leverage over bigger companies and giving them an opportunity to grow faster and capture market share.

So how does communication come into play? The basis of any working model should require a proper communication flow; a way for a team to develop and grow constructively. What happens next? The interesting process of corporate politics enters the arena and when you have new technology… fireworks are always expected.

While at the bottom of the chain working the entry jobs, I would suggest great tools, great flows and really, anything that would limit the amount of time it would take to get responses back. Moving up the chain and learning the tricks of the trade I would start suggestions with proper presentations and proof of efficiency. This proved to be beneficial. The interesting portion however, came from different management.

Focusing on the successful ones, they integrated culture change. Culture change is always difficult, with all the politics, procedures and what not else that exists in a large corporation. The effectiveness of being able to make the change always brought success in the implementation. If this was not accomplished, the opposite occurred, where by efficiency dropped and the projects felt the ramifications of limited culture change.

Communication: Does Style Matter?

Over the years I have realized that the most important part of any job is communication. Without it, possibilities of success vanquish. In Project Management however, communication is imperative to successful completion.

From large corporations to small startups I have found one constant to success:
“The ability to grow the team organically through proper communication”.  What is proper though? Let’s put it in to perspective. Proper communication is, and only is, “proper” in the eyes of the team that is involved in the project. Where one person may say great things, another will say horrid things. Bottom line is that one should analyze and come to a proper working model.

In corporations, I have found that it is easiest to follow status quo. Rules and regulations are there for a reason and must be followed. Of course, there is opportunity to change things and yes being flexible is a necessity. However, when being pulled into a project that is not your own or starting a project where you don’t have maximum authority, well then there is no use fighting.

Startups however? That’s another story!  Why? In the previous paragraph I was referring to culture change. In order to change the flow of things, you need the culture of an organization to adapt and transform into a new methodology and way of life organically. Acceptance is not always simple.

In a start up, we can transform the culture such that it not hinder but promotes growth. Simply put, everyone wants to succeed and thus you are able as a project manager to steer the communication in the direction that will find ultimate success.

Working with startups across the globe and in my own backyard, I have found that it is always easier to address the issues at hand and assist in the process of the business as a whole.  Creating a culture around communication is the process that must have focus in the immediate months following growth of employees.

In my next several blogs, I will talk about culture change for communication in both corporate companies and start ups, addressing the differences I have seen!