Welcome to Emerging Futures - Volume 2!
This week on the site we shared 79 tips for innovation. We hope you find they elevate your innovation practice. If nothing else, they are a fascinating set of rules to live by.
Then we decided to take on the Goliath of the industry –- challenging the preconceived notion that Design Thinking generates transformative innovation.
We are of the strong belief it does not. And to get the conversation rolling we wrote a longer piece on why this is.
Our countless experiments from the lab to the boardroom have shown that Design Thinking merely generates slightly better iterations of what already exists. Which is antithetical to radical innovation.
Sharing this long form essay led to some really great conversations. (Our aim is not to be right. But to learn from and with others). On LinkedIn we had many deep and insightful conversations. One person asked us to define radical innovation. Here is Iain’s definition:
It went on from there...
You know you are onto something when Harvard sends you an email further validating your contention. If you missed it – here is how Harvard has it all wrong when it comes to Design Thinking.
There is no discounting the merits of Design Thinking if you want modest changes. But is this the sum total of what is possible when we innovate?
A big concern people had was: what about empathy? We strongly believe in engaged design and empathy. Deep transformative engagement and visionary empathy are what is at stake. Doing these things really well means a wholly different approach — everything needs to work differently when you want more from innovation than a subtle inflection of the status quo.
Design Thinking evolved as a quick fix to a flawed approach of ego driven top-down design. But, as we have heard from so many of you and so many people that come to us — the time for quick fixes is over. And we are hearing this more and more, there is a growing sense that Design Thinking is part of the problem and that new innovative models of innovation are needed.
What are your experiences with Design Thinking? What alternative models are you looking at and dreaming up? Please hit reply and share with us.
Till next week we stand alongside,
Iain and Jason
Emergent Futures Lab
We’re How You Innovate