Design Thinking Blog

Design Thinking Blog

listening in on the conversation

Posts filed under IMHO

Design Thinking: Are We Making Progress?

progressIt has been a several years now since I launched the Design Thinking Blog. At the time, I felt that Design Thinking was poised to jump onto the business/management/innovation stage in a significant way. As I write this, I must admit that it has not happened with the intensity that I originally envisioned. Don’t misunderstand me, there is a great deal of conversation on the topic of Design Thinking…everything from seminars, videos and books to conferences. What I don’t see happening is Application.

It seems that most organisations are still deeply entrenched in “single disciplinary” approaches to bring innovation and solutions. But why?

In my consulting work with various groups and leaders, I try to bring the Design Thinking concepts to the forefront. I explain the goals, the processes and the quality of results that Design Thinking can bring. I honestly cannot remember any group or leader saying that they disagreed with what I was presenting. In the seminar settings, I see a great deal of excitement and acceptance of the principles. The participants readily join in on the “non-traditional” exercises and are even effective in getting positive results during the role playing and mock projects. However, the long term impact seems to be falling short.

When I have been employed by an organisation to walk with them through an actual project, I have been able to see where the breakdown occurs. Generally, it comes down to people being entrenched in the “ways of the past that worked in the past” (or at least seemed to). Very often, there are a few key stakeholders that will loose validation or position if the “innovation” process changes. At other times, the organisation struggles with leaders who tend to roll out “new ways” every year or so…and they have now become immune and resistant to new approaches.

In some of these cases I have been able to help them achieve enough success with Design Thinking to at least give it a fair chance. But honestly, there are too many that seem to be content to simply go into the conference room and try to brainstorm the “Next Great Thing!”

My hope is that over the next several years, we will see the change that I believe can happen. Design Thinking is more than just a strategy for innovation…it is an approach to viewing challenges and obstacles in a way that brings the best options and solutions to the forefront.

And the way things are going in this world….that is something we desperately need.

Service Design – The End Users Role

Just had a very insightful meeting with Jeneanne Rae.  Jeneanne has been in the Design Thinking field since before it was called Design Thinking.  She was hired by David Kelley at IDEO to help grow the business integration part of that company as an MBA and a significant part of the growth into the company… (read more)

Design Thinking: Is it different for services?

Overview of Post: A quick thought (with links) on some of the growing questions regarding  the definitions  and differences in the areas of Design Thinking. Thoughts on Post: I agree that we are in need of some clarification and perhaps differentiation in the various worlds that Design Thinking is being used.  Most of my experience… (read more)

Design Schools: Please Start Teaching Design Again

Overview: This is a “rant” of sorts from Adaptive Path and the struggle they are experiencing with hiring Design interns. Thoughts: I like this!  The struggle that they outline highlights where Design Thinking originated in the overall Design process.  The make a fantastic point that students who go to design school to become Design Thinkers… (read more)

Design Thinking and Innovation

Design Thinking and Innovation Overview of Post: This is another overview of Design Thinking with one exception:  it goes into details of the process and gives other resources. Thoughts on this Post: I like this.  When people ask me for a quick handout on Design Thinking, this may become my “go to” article.  Thanks Kendall!… (read more)

What is Design Thinking, Really?

Overview of this Article: This is an overview of the author’s take on Tim Brown and Change by Design Thoughts on this Article: Pretty good. It’s like reading an executive summary of the book.  You still should read the book. What is Design Thinking, Really? Original Article HERE at Emergent By Design by Venessa Miemis If… (read more)

How to Save The World

Overview Of this Post: This post is from a designer, who is using several of the concepts from Design Thinking in his projects. Thoughts on this post: Pretty good example of how synthesis in particular can be used. Original Post HERE My business partner John and I have recently started working with the Beal Centre,… (read more)

Stanford’s d.school bootcamp project

Overview of this Post: The d.school at Stanford has a bootcamp for students of Design Thinking. This article is an update on the projects and experiences of the participants. Thoughts on this Post: It is interesting to see the process play out with those who are just learning the concepts.  This update also crosses into… (read more)