Design goes beyond posters and phone apps.It works for discovering new services and improving old ones. You can use it to improve your business. When MoBo Bicycle Cooperative began, it was very organic. There wasn’t much going for roles and organization. It was run on feelings, which was part of it’s strength. It was part of what helped cement it in the community it started. Without having any special language, we designed ourselves past many pain points. We did it out of necessity. Sometimes we even did it out of foresight. Foresight is best. It gives you more leeway in the long run. Even still, after implementing design methods into correcting for our issues, we always found ourselves in a much better place organizationally. Things always ran smoother. We never once regretted implementing any of our findings. And our bank account grew. Our meetings went from hours to minutes. Our customer service improved and our membership grew. When we began to have issues with who was responsible for what and confusion about how to deal with people using the shop, we brought in a ringer. Someone from Public Allies, a civic leadership program, who led us through through the valley of design thinking process to assess why we were all there and what was needed to continue functioning at a higher level. Out of this came our collective mission and vision, as well as a governing board to make decisions and hold accountability. That was ten years ago.
Today I am in Chicago, still practicing Design Thinking and still learning how to improve. Contact me and ask how a nonprofit applies Design Thinking. Sometimes it does it without even realizing it.