Tag Archive | Service Innovation and Design

Playfull innovation

Play has evolved as an advantageous and necessary aspect of behaviour. Why is it then that we so often leave it on other side of the office door? (Michlewski & Buchanan, 2016)

playground

The power of Design Thinking

Design Thinking is as a creative way of thinking which leads to transformation and evolution of new forms of living and to new ways of managing business. Designers not only develop innovative solutions by working in teams with colleagues and partners, but also in collaboration with the final users.

Its visual tools (drawing, sketching, mapping, prototyping, brainstorm, etc) help professionals to identify, visualize, solve problems and preview problems in innovative ways. Enable designer inquire about a future situation or solution to a problem and transform unrealized ideas into something to build on and to discuss with colleagues, final customers and other stakeholders.

Design Thinking characteristics are analytical and emphatic, rational and emotional, methodical and intuitive, oriented by plans and constraints, but spontaneous.

Models

Several process models have been presented. The criteria used to choose the more appropriate model include the characteristics of the task, its context, the number and composition of the team and its dynamic and the available time for the innovation process.

Some examples are: IDEO’s 3 I and HCD Models; Model of the Hasso-Plattner Institute; 4 D or Double Diamond Model of the British Council; Service Design Thinking (SDT) Model; Evolution 6² Model.

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From Chaos into Creativity

”Design Thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer´s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success

– Tim Brown –

We kicked-off our Service innovation and design 2015 program with an inspiring Design Thinking course taught by Katja Tschimmel and Mariana Valença.

We first went through the evolution of Design Thinking. and the different design thinking process models like Double Diamond (2005) model, 3 I Model (IDEO, 2008) and Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford model (2010). The advantage of using a step-wise model is that the Design Thinking process is more accessible, explicit, easily understandable and applicable in organisations and business. Criteria used to choose the appropriate model depends on the innovation task, its context, the number and composition of the team and its dynamics, ant the available time for the innovation process.

Innovative thinking to me is really about perspective – to be able to have a different perspective to issues. Diverge thinking enables us to explore new alternatives, new solutions and new ideas that have not existed before. Building in order to think instead of thinking of building. Learning by making. Start asking the right questions.

We received a task to create new ideas and business model to topic “Studying in Laurea”. It was interesting to find out that “Studying in Laurea” lead to several different approaches to the same topic. We followed the Design Thinking process on Evolution 62 (Mindshake, 2014) model step-by-step.

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                       ….Emergence ~ identification of an opportunity

                       ….Empathy ~ knowing better the context

                       ….Experimentation ~ generating ideas and developing concepts

                       ….Elaboration ~ working on material and semantic solutions

                       ….Exposition ~ communicating the new concept and solution

                       ….Extension ~ implementing, observing, improving and growing

Most intriguing moment during the process for me was when we did the desktop walkthrough in the Experimentation phase and presented our solution using role play in the Elaboration phase. We had literally NO clue what we were doing at the time. There was an empty canvas awaiting for our ingenious solution and a box full of Lego´s and other materials to play with. In order to deliver the solution in time we divided into individual working groups with still not a clue of what to do. The clock was ticking. Somehow (don´t ask me how) we managed to pull through to what I think was the most beautiful Lego master piece (proof below) in due time and even had a logical storyboard for the role play.

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Now what just happened there? I have no idea, but somehow we went from Chaos to Creativity in due time, and we were proud of our Lego master piece afterwards. This more of philosophical approach will guide me through the rest of the program trying to find answers into what sparks creativity. So despite colliding different personalities, tight schedule and a topic with little background information (=Chaos) you might end-up with innovative and creative solution if you follow a structural Design Thinking model? I do not know but I will keep on searching for the answers as my journey with SID studies continue 🙂

More tools on Design Thinking can be found here: Toolkit

Please take a look at real-life customer case: How design thinking transformed Airbnb from failing startup to billion-dollar business (Video for 31 mins):

 

Written by Minna Puisto

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Sources:

Brown, T. (2009) Change by Design: how design thinking can transform organizations and inspire innovation. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Tschimmel, K. (2012) Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation. In: Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation.

The Course for Human-Centered Design: How Might We Enable More Young People to Become Social Entrepreneurs?

The Course for Human-Centered Design (provided by Ideo.org and +Acumen) is a seven-week curriculum, which introduces the concepts of human-centered design and how this approach can be used to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions for social change.  This course has been developed to educate those, who are brand new to human-centered design. No prior experience is required. However, I would recommend this course for anyone looking to improve their human-centered design skills.

What is Human-Centered Design? 

Human-Centered Design (HCD) is a creative approach to solve any kind of problem. The process starts with the people for whom the solution is designed; and ends with e.g. new product or service that is tailor-made to suit these people’s needs. HCD is all about building a deep empathy with the people’s needs and motivations, generating a lot of ideas, creating prototypes, sharing the ideas and solutions with the people; and eventually taking the new innovative solution out in the world. Please see the below video describing the concept of HCD.

Our team and design challenge

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To me sound of SID is like a sound of music

How I found my inner spark of Services Innovation and Design Thinking? I was one of the lucky ones who got in to Services Innovation and Design (SID) Programme at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. We newcomers met for the first time during our 3-day kick-off session in September 2014. I had high expectations for the class but I also kept my mind open because I didn’t know if my expectations were fair.

I think Design Thinking was a good subject to start with. We had workshops during the study days and we got to know each others. I learnt a lot from my group but also of myself. For example I noticed that the passed working years in the traditional business life had moulded the standards and rules around me. And now it was time to let them go and start to think about services and business in a new and innovative way.. in a SID way.

We had inspiring lecturers leading our workshop; Gijs van Wulfen, the founder of FORTH Innovation method, and Katja Tschimmel, a researcher, coach and a famous Design Thinker.

Gijs   Katja

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Designing is about doing, not talking!

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“Design is all about action, and business too often gets stuck at the talking stage. Uncertainty comes with the territory when business objective is growth. But that doesn’t mean that you are powerless to do anything about it. You can’t make it go away, but you can manage it rather than allow it to manage you.” 

Ogilvie, Tim, and Liedtka, Jeanne. Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers

 


According to Dr. Katja Tschimmel Design Thinking has, in fact, become an effective toolkit for any innovation process, connecting the creative design approach to traditional business thinking. It is just what business managers need when looking for new opportunities to take their businesses to the next level.

Becoming a Design Thinkerdesign thinking2

Ogilvy and Liedtka assimilate TQM & quality with Design Thinking & organic growth and innovation. Surely the transformation from a structured and rational fact-based business manager into an ambiguous and empathy-focused Design Thinker calls for true desire to learn a new way of thinking. It also means challenging and rethinking some of the most common business tools and development practices.

 

6 helpful tips on how to apply Design Thinking:

  1. Choose a method or process model and follow it – there are plenty to choose from
  2. Throw away the facts, figures and trends you already have and focus on what you do not know
  3. Be empathetic: take a deep-dive into your customers’ lives to understand their TRUE needs
  4. Embrace trial and error – it will not make you look stupid, it will make you stronger
  5. Test your innovation and be prepared to iterate – it will not be ready the first time around
  6. Include as many people as possible and share the ownership in your internal (and external) Network

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Designers: Think BIG! … but also BEYOND and GLOCAL

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Tim Brown, in his book Change by Design (100% recommended), urges a global change by what he calls Design Thinking.

Tim proposes to the world a new way to face the upcoming challenges, the small but also the big ones. A new way of redesigning the world. He offers a tool usable for every person to solve any problem in a creative, innovative and effective way.

He has been designing things every day during his whole professional life and that’s why he analyses the way designers thinks each time they have to face an assignment, a problem to solve, a question to answer.

This metal process, this mindset, this way of thinking is what he calls design thinking (in lowercase) and seems to be simply the way designers think and work in every project.

This mental process always follows the same scheme, the same stages in broad terms. This structured process, consolidated in the design sector as a practical and effective methodology to achieve the established objectives, is what he proposes as a framework to deal with any challenge to improve the world whatever its nature.
So this process abstracted and subsequently converted in a tool that could be used in every situation is what he calls “Design Thinking” (now with uppercase)

Brown sustains that everyone can solve wicked problems using Design Thinking (DT) as a toolbox even if you are not a designer. That’s why DT is an open source tool that can be applied in different disciplines. Even more if those disciplines lack creativity.

Tim Brown urges designers to play a bigger role than just creating cool, fashionable objects. He urges to think big, he calls for a change to local, collaborative, participatory “design thinking” as the 19th-century design thinker Isambard Kingdom Brunel did.

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You cannot innovate alone!

Picture by Leena Salo

You’ve got a great idea, now what? How to get innovation off the ground in your company?

 

“You can invent alone, but you can’t innovated alone.”

– Gijs van Wulfen

 

In the first course of our Service Innovation and Design studies we got to tackle the fascinating subject Design Thinking in an innovation process. In class we developed a new idea to enhance learning at Laurea in groups of 4 or 5 people.

 

Not only did we get a great exercise in team work, but also learned to use different DT tools such as interviews and observations techniques, brainstorming and brainwriting, mind maps and rapid prototyping, which are introduced in Katja Tschimmel’s article “Design Thinking as an Effective Toolkit for Innovation”. In the end we got a chance to present our new service concept to Laurea faculty members.

 

I found the DL toolkit and The FORTH method of Gijs van Wulfen very useful and interesting considering my own work and projects in the company I work for. FORTH is an innovation method for creating new concepts. The chapter titled “Raise Ideas” explains how to develop great ideas and get internal support for them inside your company.

 

Why do great ideas fail?

Picture from The Innovation Expedition by Gijs Van Wulfen

“What’s the use of brilliant ideas if there’s no support within the organization?”

– Gijs van Wulfen

 

Van Wulfen begins his book with words: “innovation is highly relevant to every organization. Yet, eighty percent of innovation projects never reach the market.” Everything might be working for you: it’s the right time to innovate, you are prepared and know the purpose and direction of the innovation, but still the project fails. Why?

 

Often this is due to the lack of support from the management. You might not receive resources to complete your project or the management might not get behind the idea and rejected it. It is impossible to innovate alone in an organization! A great idea needs to be bought by – not only the public – but management, colleagues and employees of your own company as well. Your vision needs to be shared by everyone in your organization for it to be successful and the idea to come into fruition.

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