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Design Thinking by L’École de design: a new business culture for sustainable innovation.

Design Thinking by L’École de design: a new business culture for sustainable innovation.

In today’s world, innovating means creating new values to provide a vision of what businesses can offer over and above technological performance. Jean-Luc Barassard, director of the Business Strategy department at L’École de design, gives us his recipe for winning innovation.

Innovating: first provide a vision of value creation for clients.

Innovation must be global. To achieve this, the user must be central to the thought process. It is therefore necessary to create scenarios which skillfully combine the users’ or clients’ needs and desires, the financial viability of the proposition and the technological feasibility of the products and services.
This is the principle of Design Thinking. It has been developed by the companies who embody the best known innovation models of our times. When Apple released its first iPhone for example, the technologies used were already mastered by all its competitors. Its innovation lay in another domain and that is what made this product “revolutionary”; Apple had created a new vision of the possible uses for a mobile phone. The company achieved this in two ways: by developing a user-centered approach and thinking about customer experience and the services it could offer in different use contexts. In doing so it developed a new global vision which created a revolution in its field.

Innover : commencer par poser le problème différemment aux équipes.

Innovating: begin by presenting the problem differently to teams.

Fixed ideas that develop over time in a company tend to generate strategic blind spots which can mask the major changes and opportunities taking place in the markets. Recently, the transition to digital technology has highlighted the phenomenal growth of new entrants who hadn’t been noticed by the market leaders. SkypeBlaBlaCar are prime examples of this phenomenon. It is therefore essential to open employees’ minds and to make changes within the company to help people think and act differently. It is a question of changing company culture, seeing the world from a different angle, getting people to work collaboratively and erasing the notion of working in silos. The implementation of more flexible and iterative working methods ensures that the right development paths are chosen more quickly. Allowing co-workers’ to express their creativity also promotes the flow of new ideas. Co-constructing with the client also gives a better understanding of the value creation expected and helps create a vision of future activity to pool company resources.

Innovating: integrate design thinking into company culture.

Transforming company culture to get people thinking and acting differently does not just concern a few key people. It’s a global and long-term approach which should quickly give rise to tangible results.To implement these changes, the school has experimented with this approach in various companies. It has helped SMEs, middle-market companies or major groups incorporate a new culture of user experience and creative and collaborative methods. The aim? To help generate new ideas, train people to create user scenarios in order to share the vision of the offer and learn to co-construct concepts with the client to produce new business-models. L’École de design does not offer individual training in the relevant skills but instead offers collective support to the company in the transformation of its company culture.


Business Strategy Director