Innovation and design thinking

Empathy, collaboration, human centered feature/functionality, storytelling, and culture are themes that drive innovation through design thinking. Core phases of design thinking: inspiration, ideation, implementation.

On inspiration of ideas: use the world as a source for new ideas; focus on research that is ethnographic, anthropological, and qualitative versus just quantitative; focus on extreme users and strive to understand their world from cognitive and emotional levels.

On ideation: build things to learn about your ideas; rapid and low cost prototyping and iteration is key; prototyping allows you, as the designer/innovator, to get a sense of what you’ve learned and refine your ideas over time with stakeholder feedback driving the process.

On implementation: use storytelling and construct a story around the ideas you have, the more likely that your idea will make it out of R&D; a story frames the idea.

Culture ties together inspiration, ideation, implementation. Culture is its own inspiration.

This is a  fascinating lecture on innovation (57 min, well worth your time).

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