Innovation and Design Thinking — Part 02

Juan Pacheco
Nov 12 · 4 min read

Our goal is about to generate ideas that promote innovation and Design Thinkning in the company.

Once you’ve been started an enterprise process of innovation and Design Thinking, it is important to put aside the old and obvious solutions of the past, to give a way to the disruptive and innovative ideas which we are going to work.

“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”

- Linus Pauling, Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Passing through the barrier and going beyond the obvious

The problem

Imagine just for a moment you are working on a project that aims to redesign the children’s chair at school. What way would you take to overcome the obvious solutions?

How to tackle this problem?

When you focus on innovating, unexpected combinations of ideas generate new ways of thinking, pushing the team to solve the problem in a different way. Sometimes you just need to go a bit beyond the obvious solutions and adopt wild ideas.

The Mash-Up

If it is about innovation and Design Thinking, the very best way to practice divergent thinking is the Mash-Up, since it helps to gather strange proposals, usually not related to each other or definitely unexpected to generate new ideas.

Here are four steps you can take to develop your spirit of innovation.

STEP 1: Pick two broad, unrelated categories within which you can brainstorm about products or services. For example, transportation and medicine.

STEP 2: Generate as many responses as you can, one category at a time dedicate an equal amount of time to each one

STEP 3: Combine items from the two different lists to develop new ideas.

STEP 4: Describe your idea and communicate its value in a way that is relevant to a problem.

Generate fresh ideas from unexpected idea pairings

This exercise was designed with the objective that by implementing innovation and Design Thinking as a disruptive idea generation process, it allows you to exercise your creative muscles and overcome obvious solutions.

Go for wild and unorthodox ideas.

Sometimes the line between ridiculous and brilliant is very thin, so there is not much difference between them. In this way, strive to imagine beyond what is comfortable or familiar.

Don’t judge your thinking

A very common issue that strikes those of us who introduce the concepts of innovation and Design Thinking in the company is that of limiting our thinking by constantly judging ourselves and worrying about what others will think about our ideas, proposals or thoughts.

However, once you have overcome and managed to resist those urges, you will be pleasantly surprised at how creative you will feel.

How can we help people meet their personal goals?

Let’s think about below three images.

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STEP 1: Generate lists

In two minutes, generate as many responses as possible in the two lists below. It doesn’t matter which list you fill out first. Just make sure to add a few responses to both lists.

  • CATEGORY 1: Things that motivate you
  • CATEGORY 2: Moments of the day

STEP 2: Describe the value of your idea

After you have randomly combined items from your two lists. For each combo, come up with a new idea inspired by the Mash-Up.

Briefly describe your idea and its value in relation to the problem you have chosen regarding one of the stories of Peter, Valeria and Esteban.

If you are stuck, remember the inspiration you gathered. What unmet need did you observe? Try to come up with ideas that address that.

CATEGORY 1 + CATEGORY 2 = DESCRIBE YOUR IDEA

Farewell thoughts

After diverging to brainstorm, it’s time to select a few top ideas.

But that doesn’t mean ditching all your wacky ideas and only selecting what’s safest.

Instead, consider what’s special about wacky ideas and work backwards for more practical versions of them. Keep this in mind during the next activity, where she will take one of her ideas and make it tangible.

Playing is key to innovation and Design Thinking

After completing the Mash-Up, you may wonder:

  • Is there room for this type of play at work?
  • How could I justify the use of the activity with my team?

Over the years, we have seen that play is key to innovation and Design Thinking. Bringing the game to work means creating space for your team to discover, fail, and test new ideas.

Gambling can cause mindset shifts that can lead to creative solutions that respond to today’s complex business challenges.

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juanpacheco

Design Thinking coach and Senior UX Designer

Juan Pacheco

Written by

LATAM BDM (Business Development Manager) @ TCS Interactive | Design Thinking coach and Senior UX Designer, NLP practitioner since 2015. **opinions are my own**

juanpacheco

As Design Thinking coach, I’m working in product and service design from the visioning up to delivery. Unlearn things is a challenge, but so far is best way to create new one experiences.

Juan Pacheco

Written by

LATAM BDM (Business Development Manager) @ TCS Interactive | Design Thinking coach and Senior UX Designer, NLP practitioner since 2015. **opinions are my own**

juanpacheco

As Design Thinking coach, I’m working in product and service design from the visioning up to delivery. Unlearn things is a challenge, but so far is best way to create new one experiences.

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