When looking in Google's toybox, I came across the wonderful Google Trends. In preparing for the recent KIN Webinar on 'Why Design Thinking will Save Knowledge Management" with Arno Boersma, I thought I would compare the frequency of headlines over the last 10 years for the phrases 'Knowledge management' and 'Design Thinking'.
'Design thinking' puts the customer/consumer right at the heart of every process, making engagement and satisfaction much more likely. In recent years, investment in good product design has proven it's worth (iPhone, Dyson, Alessi etc). Good design as applied to services tends to focus on the web (Google Search, heylululemon, TripAdvisor). Of course the smartphone is increasingly a 'service carrier'. But what about healthcare systems, tackling radicalisation or even entire organizational redesign? IBM are doing just that - they are training much of their management workforce in design thinking and are employing over 1000 designers.
The KM term may drop off the graph, but the fundamentals of Service Design Thinking - empathy, iteration, experimentation (with a tolerance for failure) and collaboration are critical for the future of knowledge sharing in an increasingly complex and busy world.
If you are looking for a great primer in design thinking, I heartily recommend the September cover story of the Harvard Business Review 'Design Thinking Comes of Age' https://hbr.org/2015/09/design-thinking-comes-of-age