How do you deal with the increasing complexity of the workplace?

Strategy & Innovation

Remco Lenstra

Back in the day we could estimate the scope of our daily work reasonably well. We worked in complex organizational structures, but we had relatively easy jobs. Today we are expected to be proactive, venturesome and innovative. Our organizations are becoming simpler, but our work and responsibilities get more complex.

We work in self-guiding teams, we are agile and lean. Or that’s what we’re expected to be. In reality, we do not always have the right skills or techniques to realize this effectively.

New way of working

Shifts in responsibilities, mentality, work division, team building, cooperation and more, means that a lot of companies need a different approach. Because increased complexity in the workplace (and in daily life), forces us to seek new methods to continue working pragmatically and purposefully.

There is, so to speak, a momentum for the introduction of a new way of working. Et voilà, Design Thinking, an innovation method that has existed since the 80s, takes flight. It has become a hype, a new way of working. The most important cause, is that Design Thinking is a great innovation method to battle complexity.

"In essence, Design Thinking is designing for the ‘non-designer’. You use the processes and methods of the (human-centered) designer to innovate, in a multi-disciplinary team."


Strategically dealing with innovation

Today, design finds its place in organizations in two ways. On the one hand, more companies are convinced that this method is not a department, but a program, that allows you to strategically deal with innovation.

On the other hand, the themes that Design can be used for and the expected output, have strongly evolved. While it has its origin in designing graphics and products, design has been through a real evolution in the past few decades. Who hasn’t heard of Service Design or System Design?

Today, Design Thinking has become a strongly founded approach to analyze new customer experiences and to build a new employee experience. It even allows you to innovate in immensely complex sectors such as health services, private sectors, mobility, education, etcetera.

Design Thinking contains the tools and techniques to accurately perform the increasingly complex assignments within our organization, and it’s not even that difficult to learn.

The added value of Design Thinking

Agile as it is, Design Thinking can be used to tackle various problems. The greatest added value consists of:

  • Design Thinking is the perfect method to tackle a complex problem in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Design Thinking is human-centered. It is about creating a value for the most important user. This can be a customer, but an employee or partner as well.
  • Design Thinking has a positive effect on the innovative power and culture of your organization.
  • Design Thinking changes the way you approach problems and gives confidence.

Curious to find out whether Design Thinking can offer a solution for the complexity in your workplace? Want to get familiar with the method? At Antwerp Management School we offer a short master class that will give you everything you need to get started.

Discover our Master Class Business Design Thinking!