Think Innovatively in Design

A colleague on a LinkedIn group recently submitted this question: “What are some techniques for helping leaders in organizations really think innovatively in the design process?”

Here are some techniques I suggested to think innovatively in the design process:

  1. A key element of innovation is design for mutual benefit to create value. At the beginning of the design process, identify multiple stakeholders involved in the challenge or opportunity. Then work to understand their various needs and find the sweet spot where you can create mutual benefit.
  2. Stay in Exploration and Clarification of the challenge or opportunity before you jump to brainstorming. Too often people jump from an initial challenge to brainstorming ideas without exploring the situation, gathering information about needs and teasing out insights to clarify the real challenges and opportunities for ideation.
  3. LEGO Serious Play (LSP) is a facilitation methodology I use to help leaders and teams address real business challenges while tapping into their whole brain and engaging 100% participation from team members. LSP works on a deeper level because it engages people through play, metaphor and story. Participants give richer responses than they might typically give just by answering a question. Teams are more engaged and committed to action when using LSP.
  4. Use the Creatrix to identify employee profiles in creativity and risk-taking. Understanding individual strengths will help you, as a leader, to create more effective teams at the various stages of the design process.

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