Three Reasons Design Thinking Principals Are Anti-Creative

Alternatives to Design Thinking

Here are three reasons design thinking principals are anti-creative.

And how you can design more creatively before using Design Thinking as a creativity tool.

1. Design Thinking Is an “Ideation First” Process

You can’t think the new directly.

This includes empathy, inspiration, ideate, plan, make, visions, trends - these are all rooted in the known.

Because thinking relies on existing ideas and concepts…

We must develop a new paradigm of “how to begin” to get to generate the new and novel.

2. Design Thinking Accepts Problems at Face Value

Asking what the problem is, leads to accepting problems as essentially pre-given (known.)

The reality is problems are complex, dynamic, and elusive.

Problems require the innovation designer to look beyond the problem.

Evaluate the ecosystem they are a part of.

And invent a new problem that renders the old problem irrelevant.

To innovate - the problem must be invented.

3. Design Thinking Is Solution Focused

Jumping to solutions is band-aid innovation.

Nothing radical happens this way.

Solution thinking alienates opportunity.

Better - enter into a process of novel worldmaking that leads to new problems before you can even entertain “solving” anything.

A Better Place to Begin for Novel Innovation

How can you be more creative beyond Design Thinking?

Working through and within problems.

All questions and problems have two “sides” - The Question and The Answer:

The Question = Assemblage
The Answer = Emergent Field of potential outcomes

Questions already contain their answer.

Questions already contain their answer

Focusing on a problem’s implicit components daylights an assemblage of possibilities.

As all problems already contain all their potential answers.

The spontaneously forming emergent field (answer) that arises from an assemblage (the problem) is a topology of potential answers.

You might not know all these answers, and in some cases, no one ultimately knows most of the potential answers — but they exist as a yet-undiscovered field of organized virtual potentials.

Being able to create a problem is a generative act.

A creative act.

One that already encompasses the possibility of the answers that might eventually emerge for novel disruptive innovations.

Inventing problems is how innovation designers can move beyond the anti-creative limitations of Design Thinking.

We need to invent problems worth having for worlds worth making.

Innovation is Hard

You know you need to innovate,
but no one shows you how- till now

The Innovation Design Approach is leadership's blueprint for organizational innovation. Detailing the why and how to innovate across inter-disciplinary teams using approaches, tools, and practices.