The Danger of Narrow Specialization

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly…specialization is for insects.
— ROBERT A. HEINLEIN

Design Thinking Overview

Why Design Thinking

"Design driven organizations outperform in the long run..."

Navigating the complexity of running an organization, designing for an unseen future, and keeping people engaged in the mission of your organization leads many leaders to lose sleep. The future of any organization lies in how problems are solved by the people working to bring that organizations mission to life. People run organizations and organizations exist to help people thrive. Design thinking puts people at the center of the design process and provides a framework to tackle complex problems within product design and the organization overall. We all know the famous Einstein quote which tells us we can’t solve the current problem with the same thinking that created the problem. Design thinking helps people shift their mindset in an effort to understand the problem they are solving with new empathy and engage various perspectives when creating solutions that tackle the root of the problem. According to IDEO, “design thinking is a process for creative problem solving.” Organizations that put design at the forefront out perform by 228% over a ten year period according to the DMI Design Value Index. Design thinking helps organizations create profits, flourishing for people, and engaged customers. Read Jeanne Liedtka Harvard Business Review article on why design thinking works for further reference.

Books-

The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm by Thomas Kelley, Jonathan Littman

Change by Design, by Tim Brown

Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage, by Roger L. Martin

Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers, by Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Olgivie

Tools-

Ideo.org

DesignKit.org

Interaction Design Foundation

Design Management Institute

Duke Corporate Education

Stanford Graduate School of Business Design Thinking Bootcamps


Why Design Thinking-

Why Design Thinking Works


Define

Defining

"We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

Albert Einstein

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Design thinking is more than just a problem-solving process. It involves looking at problems in a creative and unique way, with a focus on the people you are creating and solving for. At the same time, effective design thinking is able to look past the typical biases in human thinking and other crutches we are prone to rely on that inhibit imagination. Design thinking uses empathy, clarity, diversity, and iteration to create solutions that solve the root cause of problems.

Ideate

Ideation

Generate ideas. Learn from others. Ideate.

Design thinking is not a linear process, but the ideation phase is a good place to start. The ideation phase is a time to generate a variety of ideas pertaining to a particular topic. The aim is not to evaluate or rule out ideas, but simply to voice them and approach problems from different angles.

For more information and perspective on effective ideation, check out these articles:

What is Ideation? A Guide to the Most Important Ideation Techniques

Effective Brainstorming Techniques

Ideate: Beyond Basic Brainstorms