Sanja Petek Mujačić: How design thinking helps solve business challenges
The change in the angle from which you view the problem yields more innovative solutions
Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Jelena Mihelčić
Agency Bruketa&Žinić OM recently announced that it is developing its services in the field of design thinking consultancy for companies, so we asked the Executive Director of the Agency Sanja Petek Mujačić to tell us a little more about this.
Design Thinking Croatia is a joint project of the agency Bruketa&Žinić OM with Sense Consulting. How did this collaboration come about?
Sense Consulting is one of the leading consulting firms in the region, and Design Thinking Croatia is a result of their and our efforts to develop new services to meet the needs of the market. The consulting market is rapidly evolving, and creative industries in turn seek new niches through which they can offer their know-how.
How is Bruketa&Žinić OM offering its know-how in this project?
It’s a blend of shared experiences. We want to help companies to develop their own culture of innovation and creativity that is now one of the key factors of business growth and even survival. Sense Consulting for many years now helps companies and public bodies to increase efficiency in their business through financial and investment advice, counseling related to EU funds and boosting business competitiveness.
On the other hand, we as an advertising agency naturally have experience and knowledge in creative communications consultancy, so the design thinking method is very close to the way we function normally, because it is derived from the design of communication. However, clients usually approach us with ready-made products and services for which we then devise creative and effective communication, and we rarely have the opportunity to participate in the process from the very beginning, in the creation of the product and its USP. This project provides us with exactly such opportunities.
In terms of investments, we equally participate in this project. Trainers in the consulting process – along with colleagues from Sense Consulting, Vedran Antoljak, Tatjana Novak and Miroslav Kosović – are our creative director Nikola Žinić and strategic planner Ivan Tanic. We complement each other by creating offers for clients and through work with them, and we want that coaches of Design Thinking Croatia come from this joint cooperation.
How would you describe design thinking?
Design thinking is a method, a work process applicable to any job, task or project, which gives a different point of view on the problem, or rather the solution. The change in the angle from which you view the problem yields more innovative solutions.
But it’s not some new method.
The method was created during the 50s at Stanford, and we are the first in the region to provide a structured and guided consulting for companies using this method. Part of our team are trained coaches. Depending on the needs of the client, we make a program that can take either two days or a longer period.
Which people within the companies can benefit from design thinking?
Design thinking can help anyone who develops products and services, anyone who’s tasked to come up with some processes within the company, practically everyone. It may have a dual function – to innovatively solve business challenges, or to influence the shift in thinking within the company, and encourage employees to think differently about the current and all future business problems.
The method consists of 5 steps. How can we be more innovative in only 5 steps?
It’s not about the amount of steps but in the goal that is achieved through them. For example, if at some stage we conclude that the result is not satisfactory, we go one step back. These are everyday procedures in a creative way of thinking.
What does it mean to think creatively like a designer, to which this method owes its name?
This means putting the user in focus, which means thinking like the person who uses your product or service, thinking outside the box, continuous testing and improvement of solutions. Design thinking is specific in that the user is always in focus. A persona is created, whose habits, needs, environment are defined, and all of these parameters are taken into account in reaching the decision. Conversation with the customer is mandatory, and their inputs are used to develop guidelines for the solution.
IKEA, Apple or IBM are most often cited examples in a number of media, but take for example Braun. When creating a smarter electric toothbrush, they focused on two key needs identified by their users, and through them they created added value for the product. They created a toothbrush that can be easily recharged on the computer, and while it’s charging the user can order replacement brushes in just a few clicks.