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Design thinking on every level

November 28, 2016

At a time when technological developments in a fast-changing environment are challenging many of the familiar business models, it is not unreasonable to wonder how firms can operate successfully. We believe that the key lies in the way in which companies make decisions – and that a particular innovation method is instrumental here: design thinking.

What exactly is design thinking? Based on the way designers seek to reconcile technological feasibility to profitability and customer desirability. It focuses on solutions, not problems, and rests on the principles of customer-centric design, rapid prototyping and experimentation. It looks at literally everything not from the perspective of "what do we do well", but from the angle: "what does the customer want". It is all about radical innovation in all areas from a customer's eye-view.

Where can the management start? We offer a framework for fresh decision-making, driven by design thinking: five main steps that a design thinking project should follow. The choice isn't yours! You have to act before your competition does.

Design thinking has already proven its value in product development. Roland Berger also sees it as a key tool for strategic decision-making in the future. To put that another way: Strategic design thinking ticks all the boxes for companies that want to develop a light footprint, become genuinely customer-centric and make full use of digital technology while staying profitable. If you get the thinking right, the chances are you will get the decisions right too.

That's crazy? Let's do it.


Design thinking on every level


Design thinking: From a product development methodology to a strategic decision-making process

Published November 2016. Available in
Portrait of Björn Bloching
Senior Advisor
Hamburg Office, Central Europe