Design Thinking: Is it really innovation?

Much of the Fintech revolution so far has revolved around moving the branch to the smartphone to cut costs

Design Thinking is commonly used to facilitate this.

It is very effective and helps converge rapidly towards solutions.

Yet, the reach and potential of Design Thinking is often limited by 2 factors.

1. The cultural conditioning of consumers and innovators involved which limits the range of possibilities that are considered.

2. The difficulty in assessing the long-term potential of new ideas when the cultural shifts that can support them have not yet been disseminated in society.

Design Thinking partly addresses these challenges with a Darwinist approach, assuming that unleashing a vast amount of creativity will help uncover the innovative solutions that sit beyond our cultural horizon. At best this is vastly ineffective. At worst it does not produce anything new.

In fact, the vast amount of innovations in Financial Services merely achieve the streamlining of an existing process. It is shiny, it is faster, it may even be digital but frankly, it is not new. Design Thinking will only streamline what already exists.  Do you want to be truly innovative and create differentiation and growth? If so, a different approach is required.  A 21st Century approach!