Fostering Innovation through Different Perspectives
GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato
Design Thinking has emerged as a powerful methodology that enables organizations to tackle complex problems and create innovative solutions. At its core, Design Thinking encourages empathy, collaboration, and iteration. However, to fully reap the benefits of this approach, organizations must recognize the importance of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in the design process. By incorporating diverse perspectives, organizations can foster innovation and create solutions that better serve their customers and communities. In this article, we will explore how Design Thinking and D&I complement each other and present two case studies highlighting their impact on innovation.
Case Study 1: Procter & Gamble’s “Design for Women”
Procter & Gamble (P&G), a multinational consumer goods company, aimed to develop a razor specifically designed for women. To achieve this, they assembled a diverse team comprising individuals from various backgrounds, including women with different ethnicities, ages, and cultural experiences.
By incorporating D&I principles into the design process, the team empathized with the diverse needs and preferences of women worldwide. This approach led to the creation of the “Venus Embrace,” a razor that not only performed exceptionally well but also catered to the specific needs of women, such as comfort, ease of use, and aesthetics.
P&G’s commitment to D&I through Design Thinking not only resulted in a successful product but also reinforced their reputation as a brand that truly understands and values its target audience. This case study demonstrates how acknowledging and embracing diversity can lead to breakthrough innovations that resonate with customers on a deeper level.
Case Study 2: Airbnb and Inclusive Design
Airbnb, a leading online marketplace for accommodations, recognized early on that their success depended on creating an inclusive platform that catered to a wide range of travelers. To achieve this, they adopted Design Thinking principles and focused on incorporating D&I into their design process.
Airbnb initiated “The Airbnb Design Language System” project, which aimed to provide an accessible and inclusive user experience across their platform. They collaborated with individuals from diverse backgrounds, including people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and different ethnicities. By involving these diverse stakeholders, Airbnb gained valuable insights into the specific challenges that certain groups faced when using their platform.
Through Design Thinking, Airbnb developed features such as improved filters for accessibility requirements, expanded language options, and inclusive profile settings. These enhancements not only made the platform more user-friendly but also created a strong sense of belonging for users from all backgrounds.
By incorporating D&I principles into their design process, Airbnb gained a competitive edge that enabled them to tap into previously underserved markets. This case study demonstrates how Design Thinking and embracing different perspectives can drive innovation while promoting social equality and inclusivity.
Design Thinking and Diversity & Inclusion are integral to fostering innovation in today’s rapidly changing world. The case studies of Procter & Gamble and Airbnb highlight the power of incorporating diverse perspectives into the design process. Incorporating D&I enables companies to empathize with their target audience, uncover unmet needs, and create innovative solutions that cater to a broader customer base. Embracing diversity not only leads to more successful products and services but also plays a crucial role in creating a more inclusive and equitable society. As organizations strive to stay competitive and meet the evolving needs of their customers, Design Thinking and D&I will continue to be essential drivers of innovation and growth.
Bottom line: Futurology is not fortune telling. Futurists use a scientific approach to create their deliverables, but a methodology and tools like those in FutureHacking™ can empower anyone to engage in futurology themselves.
Image credit: misterinnovation.com
Sign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.