There are thousands of things that can go wrong on the path from an idea to a problem solving solution. To help with the process there are plenty of methodologies and tools to formulate, conceptualize and execute ideas into a feasible business plan. At the end, the goal is to bring the ideas to life and make them work.
It was inspiring to spend two days in September with Gijs Van Wulfen and Katja Tschimmel learning about Design Thinking and how to solve problems and contextualize ideas. After the sessions, I can honestly say that innovating is not easy and there is no easy formula for it. However, Katja and Gijs took us through several tools to help with the mysterious innovation process. We spent a good amount of time getting to know the FORTH method that Gijs had developed. On top of that, to get a better grasp on the methods available, we studied some of the tools essential to design thinking and with the help of Katja’s paper “Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation” I feel quite comfortable to start my journey. Both Katja and Gijs help me realize the change in the state of mind that is needed to think in a “design way”. By this I mean that when starting to learn to think the design way, it changes the way you see and think about things. And that is a good thing!
Tools for innovation
Katja gave us good overview on design thinking tools that can be used in the innovation process and in her paper you can find several tools that are useful. In the observation stage there are tools such as shadowing, self-documentation by photos, mind mapping, storytelling and the use of personas. For Idea generation there are tools like brainwriting, brainsketching and Visual and semantic confrontations. In testing ideas phase tools such as, prototyping, three-dimensional designs, detailed sketching and practical descriptions. In the homecoming phase the most important tool is the business model canvas to clearly show the benefits of the solution in business terms. To present the idea however there are as many ways and tools as there are presenters. The importance is in the clarity of the message.
Four things to remember about FORTH!