Design Thinking
Agus Setiawan

PhD candidate and result-oriented Director with 25 years experience with involvement in all levels of Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Managing Project and Product Development. Aside of managing a company, he is also the best corporate trainer and public speaker in seminar and conference.

A Guide for Applying Design Thinking in Workplace

Design thinking is a human-centric, iterative process to understand customers, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems. It’s made up of five core phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. Now, we are going to learn more about design thinking started from its importance, benefits, and how to apply design thinking within your organization.

Why Apply Design Thinking in Workplace is Important?

It is necessary to apply design thinking in workplace or work environment because it could help organization to simplify complex problems. Design thinking helps to break down the issues, improves understanding, and minimizes risk.

Design thinking could also minimize the uncertainty and risk of innovation by engaging customers or users through a series of prototypes to learn, test and refine concepts, and it relies on customer insights gained from real-world experiments, not just historical data or market research.

The Benefits of Design Thinking in Workplace

Integrating design thinking into your workplace can add huge business value such as reducing risk, identify the problems better, and provide innovative solutions. This will ultimately ensure the products that you design are not only desirable for customers, but also viable in terms of company budget and resources.

How to Drive Design Thinking in Your Organization

First of all, start small. Find a way to use the design thinking method to result in success on a smaller project with less risk. Next, find a way to prove the value in a different way of thinking without offending the current way of doing things, to make your comments additive, not negative. After that, avoid silos by department or team because design thinking works best when it includes people who bring different perspectives and expertise to the table.

In addition, understand that design thinking is a fluid process that is non-linear. The previous five phases of design thinking: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test are do not have to follow a specific order and they can occur in parallel. Finally, identify how you will measure success. You could track the number of projects that apply design thinking or conduct surveys to measure the impact of design thinking based on employee satisfaction.


Just like with any change, it will take time to fully embed design thinking into your organization. You will have to test new ways to engage, motivate your teammates, and iterate as time goes on, but with its benefits such as increase efficiency and collaboration, it would be worth it for your organization.

Quinn, C. (2019, January 31). How to Bring Design Thinking to Your Organization. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from
Sroka, M. (2019, March 01). Design Thinking rethinks the workspace. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from
SL. Beckman, M., MJ. Benner, M., MJ. Benner, M., Body, J., R. Boland, F., Brown, T., . . . Wang, J. (1970, January 01). Implementing design thinking in organizations: An exploratory study. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from

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