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Who I am and What do I do?

Passionate about Design Thinking!

Who I am & what I do….

Hi there! I am Hillary Coghlan, a professional and qualified Marketing Service Design and Innovation specialist located in Dunmore East, Co Waterford. I started a business called Triangle Marketing in 2016 specialise in Research, Services Marketing and Business Strategy, Service Design and Innovation. Triangle Marketing helps small businesses (incl. micro enterprises and start-ups) to identify and implement opportunities for growth and innovation using the latest best practice, tools and business models in entrepreneurial thinking, service design innovation and business strategy. We offer a new way of thinking to help solve business problems for growth.

One of tools we love using is Design Thinking, which helps to re-shape business models for innovation. Companies like Uber, Airbnb. IBM, Apple, Google, and Proctor & Gamble all use Design Thinking to identify opportunities to creatively improve existing or develop new products and services.

What is Design Thinking?

The process follows a series of steps applying a human centered approach-putting customers and users first. It seeks to create empathy and develop an in-depth understanding of their current and unmet future needs. Defining customer needs leads to generating many ideas and uncovers better ways to improve products and services or develop new ones.

The steps we follow are empathy, ideate – generating ideas, define solutions, create prototypes, and test prototypes. While every stage in the process has equal importance, testing prototypes is a crucial step to validate your idea with customers and users. Exclude testing at your peril as this enables products to fail fast and succeed sooner which means by testing with customers we can identify early on whether a product or services will sell or not and often suggests further improvements. Failing early saves valuable resources including time, money and effort, and helps get to market quicker with an alternative product.

In Ireland, the Irish Research Development Group run annual design thinking workshops for their members - mostly large manufacturers and educational institutes. For small businesses, Design Thinking workshops are often, cost prohibitive and inaccessible, due to the location and distance from their business.

Benefits of Design Thinking

Design thinking is a learned process and can be immediate application for any business. It is a valuable resource because it is repeatable over time and can help businesses to continually innovate and maintain their competitive advantage.

It is relatively easy process to learn and cost effective to implement to helps to create space for innovation.

Does it fail in organisations and why?

Sometimes yes it can fail. The key to successful Design Thinking relies on:

  • Having an open mind. Be aware this is an ambiguous process – the starting position is known but the end is not….yet! Where you think you might be headed is not always where you will arrive.
  • Structuring the problem by asking the right questions and having the right people involved – co-create with customers, users and stakeholders.
  • Get to the Gemba is a Japanese term used in Lean Management. It means get to where the work happens to understand how to improve it. For Design Thinking to be successful, it is important to go and experience where work happens. Involve your staff, customers and stakeholders. Experience services and products just as your customers do. Experience their journey for idea generation.

Let us face it, a common denominator for all business, irrespective of size or sector is change, driven by technology and customers’ demands. If small businesses are unable to change, adapt, plan and innovate for future client needs, then it is highly unlikely they will exist in the future!

If you would like to receive more information or to discover more about the Design Thinking, please feel free to contact me at 086 3448441.

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