A Fresh Perspective on the Real Value of Design Thinking

Leaders who want to increase innovativeness in their organizations seem overly attracted to the ideation stage of design thinking. They envy companies, like Google and Apple, and presume that the ideas for maps and the iPhone emerged fully-formed from the heads of a creative genius or two. Design thinkers, on the other hand, have a bias toward experimentation and prototyping – a messy, experimental process.

Experimentation is a way of life. As author Jay Cone discovered during a recent tour of IDEO’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California, he came to understand that experiments and prototypes are designed for learning, not convincing. He recommends producing more low-fidelity prototypes, learning and failing sooner and faster, rather than the traditional corporate approach of presenting a prematurely buttoned-up idea in a flawless PowerPoint deck.

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