Design thinking takes concepts and ideas – and makes them real and usable. For design thinking to work, organisations have to understand that creative abilities and confidence are not the sole preserve of a few select designers; every member of an organisation has the creative potential needed to deal with issues and contribute to problem solving. The most innovative organisations in the world have managed to embed design thinking into the DNA of their constituents. By doing this, they have developed products and services that are incredibly sensitive to the current and future needs of their customers. Design thinking is extremely useful for tackling ill-defined or complex problems. It can help organisations re-frame these problems in human-centric ways, and enables solutions to be prototyped and tested. There are several generic steps involved in the process, including defining the problem; re-framing the problem; brainstorming for solutions; prototyping; testing; and, implementing the most practicable solution. The design way of thinking is applicable to systems, procedures, protocols, internal users, and client experiences. Ultimately, it is meant to improve the quality of life for people and the planet.

This report outlines the best practices research undertaken by in the area of design thinking. The best practices have been compiled under seven main headings. This layout is designed to enable you to scan subjects that are of interest to you and your organisation, quickly assess their importance, and download relevant information for further study or to share with your colleagues.


  • What is “design thinking“?
  • Which organisations have received recognition for excellence in design thinking?
  • How have organisations reached high levels of success in design thinking?
  • What research has been undertaken into design thinking?
  • What tools and methods are used to achieve high levels of success in design thinking?
  • How is design thinking measured?
  • What do business leaders say about design thinking?

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