• Design Thinking, applied.

  • About

    Why Design Thinking

    Definition for challenger tech ventures.

    Design Thinking is all about solving problems in a people-oriented way. It is transforming business-as-usual into something better. For startup and challenger tech ventures this is inherently what they seek to do.


    But the problem for startups and challengers is: who are the early adopters who will respond to a transformational tech value proposition? And also, what's the best way to get larger, inherently conservative enterprises to engage?


    Design Thinking is a method that brings together producer (seller) and consumer (buyer) in more open, collaborative ways: to engage in Mutual Value Discovery. It is the foundation for validating and monetising tech innovations, early.

  • About

    Being Challengers

    Enabling new ventures to win.

    Design Thinking is powerful. It works for startup and spinout ventures: challengers who want to disrupt business-as-usual. Good Design Thinking builds receptivity, rapport and trust between challengers and their early adopters.


    The focus here is on engaging with large and mid-market enterprises: connecting digital innovators who deliver measurable value outcomes in exchange for timely investments in early-stage tech solutions.


    With this Design Thinking method, you can frame, and reframe the problem(s) being addressed by the digital solution - often well-ahead of completeness of a technology. This means focusing on value over cost.

  • About

    Being Human

    Placing people at the centre of digital innovation.

    Digital innovation empowers people: citizens as both producers and consumers in the broadest sense of these words. With any digital solution, producers (or sellers) and consumers (or buyers) need win-win outcomes.


    Design Thinking places people at the centre of business-to-business and business-to-consumer conversations. This requires a method: an organised way to engage people in collaborative digital innovation.


    With Design Thinking conversation replaces rhetoric. Commercial interactions become meaningful human engagements, not pitching from producers, nor procurements from buyers. It's all about Mutual Value Discovery.

  • About

    Being Inquisitive

    A meaningful method for digital innovation.

    Design Thinking is all about solving complex problems in a people-oriented way. It is a pragmatic, hands-on approach to innovation. Design Thinking is being inquisitive: asking questions, challenging conventions.


    At the heart of successful Design Thinking is a culture of curiosity and empathy. This means being interested in solving problems, seeing them from other people's perspectives. Hence, our process starts with Empathize.


    Here, Design Thinking is the structured method that guides an end-to-end approach to creating digital innovations and achieving measurable value outcomes. It is a focus on action and continuous improvements.

  • About

    Being Structured

    Inspired by the Stanford d.school.

    This method embraces the Design Thinking developed by the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (d.school). This is five steps, applied in an iterative loop: Empathize; Define; Ideate; Prototype; and, Test.


    Empathize means building the receptivity, rapport and trust required to enable a meaningful outcome for the next step: Define. By creating the right Definition, the subsequent steps of Ideate, Prototype and Test work better.


    The key to Ideation is hands-on, rapid iterative work in the Prototype and Test steps. This means not being afraid to make mistakes - but enabling a 'fail fast' approach with a 'T4' mindset: Try This, Try That.

  • About

    Being Engaged

    Uncovering insights for digital innovation.

    Empathy Mapping enables the generation of both explicit and implicit needs, discovered at the earliest stages of tech innovation. This is capturing everything per 'User Persona' as: Say; Think; Feel; and, Do.


    What follows are four further steps towards the creation of a Minimum Viable Proposition: something that has been inspired by deeper insights generated from Empathy Mapping sessions with all key stakeholders.


    Observations from Say and Do, combined with Inferences from Think and Feel enables the creation of Points of View (PoV) Statements, categorised as line items under the three columns of User; Need; and, Insight.

  • About

    Being Successful

    Creating 'win-win' outcomes.

    For larger enterprises innovation is about more than just planning new products or services: it's about imagining how to compete and win in new ways. Design Thinking transforms existing conditions for the better.


    Design Thinking for tech innovation is all about converting knowledge and insights into a comparative advantage. This invariably means moving fast: a focus on doing, not planning, failing fast - and continuously learning.


    Applying this Design Thinking method allows buyers and sellers to come together around new tech innovations - way ahead of completeness of product or service. This becomes the foundation to create 'win-win' outcomes - fast.

  • About

    Being Transformative

    The emerging Design Anthropologist.

    Design Thinking moves design to a higher level: from functional design and incremental improvement to transformative design and reinvention. The language of the designer is found in our everyday conversations.


    Design Anthropologists are the emerging talent: moving beyond user experience (UX) design to a more universal problem-solving with digital innovation and packaged Software-as-a-Servivce (SaaS) solutions.


    With AI, Machine Learning and the Internet Of Things, the human-computer interface has become very complex. Anthropology enables a better understanding of people and how they interact with a broader array of devices.



  • About

    Being Confident

    Focus on doing, not planning.

    Creating meaning is the tough aspect of Design Thinking, applied. To properly communicate and validate ideas and insights, a focus on doing, not planning is essential. This often means multiple iterations and conversations.


    Remember the five-step steps of Design Thinking: Empathize; Define; Ideate; Prototype; and, Test. Ultimately, getting to the Prototype and Test steps fast and not being afraid to make mistakes here is key.


    Design Thinking is all about institutionalising creativity in the enterprise: a tangible link between employees, partners and customers - focused on win-win outcomes. This helps tech innovators inspire creativity through practical work.

  • About

    Being Truthful

    It all starts with Empathize.

    The key step in Design Thinking is Empathize. This means that the innovator must position themselves in the place of all stakeholders and users of the digital solution to truly understand their needs and challenges.


    Truth in Design Thinking is key and only comes when sufficient receptivity, rapport and trust is really established between all participants engaged in tech innovation. Asking meaningful questions also requires truthful answers.


    Shaping and phrasing questions in all five steps of Design Thinking is key: from the first step of Empathize, through Define and then iterative loops for Ideate, Prototype and Test. This means uncovering implicit and explicit needs.

  • About

    Being Pragmatic

    Tangible outcomes as Web and mobile apps.

    Design Thinking driving digital innovation only has value if it results in real world outcomes: e.g. useful Web and mobile apps. Typically, this is solutions on a cloud ecosystem - a two-sided network of producers and consumers.


    Underpinning Design Thinking with digital innovation is making full use of prebuilt business logic wherever possible. Examples include No-Code Platforms and Reusable AI and Machine Learning Assets.


    This becomes a journey of converting 'brainware' into software: the realisation of digital innovations reinforced as compelling, affordable Web and mobile apps or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions.

  • Robotics

    The social care robots are coming!

    Integrating Care

    Next generation digital health.

    Cyber Security

    Foundation for a hyper-connected world.

    Going Non-Linear

    Beyond the constraints of billable hours.

    Design Anthropologists

    A new breed of design professional emerges.

    Sales Innovation

    Shift sales forecasting from seller to buyer.

    Talent Management

    Mentoring maximises employee productivity.

    Design Thinking

    Human-centrered problem-solving.

    Visually Done

    The power of a No-Code Platform.

  • Platform

    Sales Innovation

    What's needed in the high-value sell.

    Problem: Two things are missing in CRM systems: Mentoring and Validating.

    Solution: This means: (a) enabling continuous learning to increase sales effectiveness; and, (b) shifting sales forecasting from seller to buyer.


    We add LOOP Mentoring Platform and XCELD Validating Platform to your CRM system of choice. Our team works with you to enable Mentoring with outside experts, inside managers and of course, you, as sales leader.


    Shifting sales forecasting from seller to buyer is achieved through the creation of ROI Models on XCELD. These ROI Models enable buyers to agree on a fair Deal Value and accurate Close Date, all based on financial calculations.



  • Ian H Smith

    Chairman and Director


    After initially training as a product designer in the plastics industry, I have spent the past 35+ years in challenging roles within the tech industry.


    I hold a Master's degree in Design Thinking. This inspires my work: applying a human-cantered approach to solving problems with digital innovation.

    Lindsey Kennedy

    Head of Research


    I work with Being Guided clients and partners to make better sense of social networks and relationship insights in an ever-changing world.


    My engagements are built on a foundation of building and maintaining accurate data related to decision-makers, and influencers. 

  • BLOG

    Thoughts on Design Thinking applied to high-value innovation.

    16 avril, 2018
    Digital innovation, if it is to deliver a measurable competitive advantage for any organisation,...
    Design has become mainstream thinking: Design Thinking. This may be defined as a method and set...
    10 avril, 2018
    Knowledge-intensive firms, such as ad and digital agencies, lawyers and management consultants,...
    Knowledge intensive firms are under siege. Selling high-value solutions via mechanical...
    Ethnography is the structured study of people and cultures. Jay Hasbrouck is a strategist and...
    28 janvier, 2018
    The idea of visual software development has been around for over ten years, but it is only now...
    8 novembre, 2017
    New tech ventures face many hurdles, not least access to capital. Regardless of whether you are a...
    24 août, 2017
    Demand Creation Selling is a method. Sales Professionals who engage in the high-value, high-touch...
    23 août, 2017
    Knowledge-intensive services firms have an inherent constraint: as they grow revenues, so too,...
  • Contact

    Let's connect.

All Posts