Over on the INSEAD Knowledge blog, Professor Manuel Sosa has an insightful peice on design and innovation: “The Innovative Organisation: Learning From Design Firms“. The key, he stresses, is not “design” as an outcome but design as a process.
Samsung and Apple traced out a path to 21st-century success admired and followed by other brands. But too many companies still stash their design in a silo, where it can have little to no overall organisational influence.
A silo approach fails to capitalise on everything designers bring to the table in addition to creativity. Top design firms such as IDEO, Continuum, and Eight, Inc. have not only a well-tooled process for converting innovation opportunities into real innovations, but also a set of organisational elements perfectly aligned with that process. If companies require an innovation role model, they need look no further than design firms.
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By observing how many design firms work, I have identified three core organisational capabilities at which they particularly excel, which also comprise the rudiments of any innovation journey: user-centric insighting, deep and diverse ideating, and rapid and cheap iterating.
A good description of the design thinking paradigm (see earlier posting).