Guide: Practice innovation with design thinking

Introduction

In addition to building a culture that fosters innovation, there are different methods for tapping into a team's collective creativity. Design thinking is one approach that combines creativity and structure to solve big problems.

Originally used by architects like Bryan Lawson, engineers like L. Bruce Archer, and even political scientists like Herbert Simon, “design thinking” has come to be a process that can be applied to any complex problem. Stanford Professors Rolf Faste and David Kelley, who later founded the design consultancy IDEO, were among the first to broadly teach and apply this design approach to problem solving. This approach has been used to brainstorm solutions for societal issues like getting kids to eat healthy school lunches as well as to help well-established companies redefine their place in a fast-changing industry. Today, design thinking is taught as a formal course at places like Stanford’s d.school, the HPI School of Design Thinking, and Harvard University.

Google uses design thinking as one method to teach teams and individuals to think creatively, an important step in the process of innovation.

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