Design thinking is usually described as teamwork. Something that can only work together in a team. Disciplines and mindsets work together. But is that really a decisive factor? As an individual, can’t I also make a difference in the sense of design thinking? I say, yes, of course.

There’s not always a team.

Not many companies have the opportunity or luxury to employ a dedicated design thinking team. I would even say there are only a few. But this automatically means that Design Thinking is not feasible for me. I don’t think so. Primarily I’m talking about a Design Thinking mindset. The way of tackling things and questioning them. A method of identifying problems and developing solutions. Only when you are intensively involved with Design Thinking does your own working method change. That’s certainly true, but on trainings and in literature the great process chart is usually drawn quickly. What do I do now?

The One-Man Team

Why am I not my own Design Thinking Team? Why not? When you think about it, you don’t really think about anything. Design Thinking works as well for me as an individual as it does for a team. Of course you’ll have to plan a bit more time here and there, but nothing stands in the way of the process steps. Will I conduct interviews? Immerse yourself in a topic through research? Formulate a statement? Develop ideas on a leisurely walk? Build a prototype? There is no stopper that would stop me from following the process.

Surely one would argue that this way the flow doesn’t develop or that the mutual inspiration in brainstorming doesn’t happen. Sure it will be different but it’s really so bad. I think not. Certainly it will be a challenge to hide one’s own point of view, but through expert interviews and customer conversations I can get a good picture of the problem described. Should I not be able to grasp it correctly, I just go through one more iteration. I can decide that myself.

The door is open to everyone

So it is really possible for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in Design Thinking to do so. Surely there is one or the other argument for teamwork. I don’t want to speak that badly. Working in a team is certainly the recommended way but I would like to point out that if this way is not available it is not a stopper for yourself. Anyone who wants to do design thinking can do so. Try and learn. Maybe the first personal project is still a bit bumpy, but the results will surely get better and better and over time they will certainly be seen.

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