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design-centric culture

In business, a design-thinking culture is a workplace environment that focuses on end user experience (UX). The shared values in a design-thinking culture are more people-centric than data-centric, and design thinking strategies influence how the organization perceives creativity as well as how it maintains competitive advantage and creates new revenue streams.

Employees in a design-thinking workplace are taught techniques for how to empathize with end users and gather information from different points of view that can be used to drive design. They are taught why brainstorming with co-workers in different departments and levels of the company can help generate better ideas and how to quickly create prototypes that can be presented to end users in order to solicit feedback. Employees in a design-centered culture learn how to work iteratively, repeating steps as required in order to continuously improve the customer's experience. And perhaps most importantly, employees in a design-thinking culture are taught to have a tolerance for failure as long as it moves everyone towards the final goal.

Design-thinking is increasingly used in software product development and has become an essential tool in many other industries for simplifying and humanizing complex problems. The formal processes involved in design thinking give equal importance to human needs, business requirements and technical feasibility -- and just like Toyota's Respect for People principle, encourages a culture that values imagination and teamwork.

This was last updated in February 2016

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