The relationship between Design Thinking & Innovation
As you might expect, the terms Innovation and Design Thinking come up pretty often at Idea Couture. It’s not very often I have to intellectualize the terms, but earlier this week, I ran an internal workshop outlining the foundations of design thinking as it relates to facilitation [side note - that presentation is embedded at the end of this post].
Needless to say, the process of preparing and presenting to the internal IC team had me pretty primed to talk about what Design Thinking is and what it means in the context of Idea Couture, business, and innovation. So I was pretty happy when I went on Quora last night and came across this great question:
Part of the challenge in answering that question is that there is no single definition of Design Thinking. From what I’ve seen and what I practice, there are four points of view on what Design Thinking really is. Each have a different connection to innovation.
- Design thinking is a person is a person who is capable of forming ideas through abductive reasoning. Abductive reasoning implies knowing throughout intuition (no formal proof), which is effectively a new thought. Innovation through new ways of thinking.
- Design thinking is a human centered way of viewing the world. By trying to solve problems through gaining insights around people’s needs, you’re creating new perspectives which lead to new opportunities for innovation. Innovation through new perspectives.
- Design thinking is a series of methods allow designers better communicate ideas. Completely new concepts are difficult for most people to grasp, so using a designer’s lens on communications improves understanding. The communication of innovation.
- Design thinking is a series of steps to guide the innovation process. It’s the meta name given to the activities involved in creating a new idea. Design thinking is innovation.
So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Just tired of hearing the term “Design Thinking”? Let me know.
Also, here’s a copy of the internal presentation if you’re interested.