The first week of the Design (and Innovation) Management Class I teach with Alladi Venkatesh and Raymond Pirouz, as always, reminds me that Design Thinking is at the heart of all innovation. It's not just about designing new products, or even new customer experiences—it’s a different way of seeing the world that results in breakthrough innovation.
This October issue of Fast Company has a number of provocative articles with concrete examples of how this theory translates into innovation today. Products inspired by wasps’ nests and butterfly wings. A computer chip that sucks up a tiny fraction of power and puts the Internet in your hand. Factories for design.
There’s also a terrific video from one of the principals of IDEO which describes many of the same concepts we explore in class: the interplay and the roles of customers, business and design, the importance of storytelling, and concrete examples of new services that were inspired by ethnography—carefully watching how real people really live.
In the world ahead of us, it will be innovation that drives the economy, green technology, and new approaches to the world’s thorniest problems. If you want to be successful in that world, it’s worth taking some time to start seeing and thinking with that neglected part of your brain that’s tapped in design thinking.
(Click here for sneak previews of more talks by innovative thinkers.)