As ArtBizTech, we witness that the top two priorities of our clients is being more innovative in:

  • creating products, technologies and services that people love and,
  • overcoming complex business, technological and social problems with new ideas, processes and business models.

Organizations search for a magical way to achieve these two objectives. This requires a new way of thinking in today’s dynamic and complex world that is shaped around bang (bytes, atoms, neurons, genes).

In the age of uncertainty with many unknowns, “Design Thinking” and “Artful Thinking” have become the most distinctive ways to achieve innovation and overcome the challenges at startups, large enterprises like banks and telcos and non-profit organizations.

Design thinking methodology can be summarized as follows:

Definition:

  • Define a challenge based on the needs and problems of a specific group of people

Research:

  • Interview and observe this target audience at their own context and identify their needs and problems associated with the challenge

Interpretation:

  • Detect patterns based on the outcomes of research phase and generate insights

Idea Generation:

  • Inspire from insights to generate creative solution ideas that satisfy the needs and problems of the target user group

Prototyping:

  • Turn solution ideas into tangible forms to be ready for evaluation

Evaluation:

  • Test solution ideas with target users by using prototypes and upon their feedback refine them in an iterative manner.

Unless the people in the organization are not empowered by whole-brain thinking (both left and right brain) skills, design thinking is not a silver bullet in finding innovative solutions to challenging problems. At design thinking projects;

  • Definition phase requires concretization, composition and organic unity skills
  • Research phase requires observation, asking right questions and contextual thinking skills
  • Interpretation phase requires pattern recognition and intuition skills
  • Idea generation phase requires creativity, thinking out of the box and organic design skills
  • Prototyping phase requires expression and visual thinking skills
  • Evaluation phase requires critical thinking skills.

Our clients that apply design thinking have realized that design thinking unleash its real potential when applied by teams having these soft skills. Nevertheless, it is unrealistic to expect these skills from every member of the company by default. A mindset called “Artful Thinking” has been applied by leading academic institutions such as Harvard and MIT and innovative companies to improve whole-brain skills by embedding art into professional, academic and personal life.

Art is the top level of intellectuality. The word intellect originates from the Latin “intellectus,” which means “to understand.” Dealing with art makes a person an intellectual with skills such as observation, pattern recognition, intuition, questioning, empathy, and critical thinking. These skills help people better understand and empathize with people and the things around them.

Throughout history, art has also been the most viable expression of right brain skills such as visual thinking and creativity. Artful thinking leads us to question what if famous artists such as Picasso, Da Vinci, Dali and Van Gogh were business and technology professionals and look at business and personal life from different and divergent perspectives. As French novelist and critic Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Artful thinking helps us see the world with these new eyes and use this increased awareness and mindfulness in creation of innovative business and technology solutions.

With this aim in mind, art fairs exhibiting important artworks of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are organized in Silicon Valley in collaboration with the world’s most respected galleries and art institutions. Many of the cofounders and CEOs of the world’s most innovative companies at Silicon Valley have been liberal arts graduates who integrated this area with business and technology, thus leading their companies to create innovative products. For instance, Norio Ohga, the former president and chairman of Sony Corporation and the inventor of the CD, was a graduate of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Steve Jobs also took many liberal arts courses and once said, “It is technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities that yields the results that make our hearts sing.”

Therefore, the “magic” step that companies can take to unlock creativity, foster innovation and develop delightful solutions that touch the hearts of people is to apply design thinking methodology and embed artful thinking mindset in their company DNA. By doing so, they can replace shallow, organizational mind-sets with deeper ones, resulting in improved emotional intelligence and creative empowerment.

Emrah Yayici

ArtBizTech Istanbul

ArtBizTech is a multi-disiplinary group of people, including business professionals, technology specialists, developers, engineers architects, psychologists, students, academicians and artists that helps companies to generate creative ideas, develop innovative products, technologies, services and solve any kind of business challenges by applying Design Thinking Methodology and Artful Thinking Perspectives.

ArtBizTech team is an active contributor of global Design Thinking and Artful Thinking communities with books on amazon.com, design thinking workshops, artful thinking workshops, innovation projects, and meetups with peers from different cities of the world.