Design thinking is a process to create various alternate solution to specific issues using individual as well as group capabilities and through the ideas of employees, customers, vendors and the general public. However, the core of innovation is a messy and unstructured process of creativity.
Design Thinking ventures to inspire an ability to take an abstract idea and develop something with the idea which is the essential element of creativity. With this statement, we can establish that design thinking, and innovation seem to have some connection. This is based on the fundamental belief that an idea that is never realized, ergo an unexecuted idea, is a valueless premise and that is equivalent to valuable thinking.
In order to solve issues in a creative and innovative way, many organizations evolved to use Design Thinking. Design thinking, and innovation are important in an organization as a combination. There by organizations are pushing their employees to think like designers and understand the basic application of design principles.
The growing need for Design Thinking stems from its capability to combine imagination and intuition through the application of certain logic and systematic reasoning to explore the possibilities. The iterative process of Design Thinking is based on challenging assumptions and redefining issues for products, services or customer experiences. There has been an increasing demand to elevate the capacity to help solving problems in business complexities since Design Thinking has taken hold.
Design Thinking and innovation is explained as a human-centred-approach that draws from the toolkit of the designer themselves in order to integrate three core necessities:
- The needs of the people
- The possibilities of technology
- The requirements for business success
That is, it is about human-centred innovation.
Irrespective of the scope and authority of challenge, Design Thinking is said to work the best when it comes to developing a human sense of things and tackle challenges in a way that best suits to meet the human needs. This requires some level of innovation and thereby, design thinking, and innovation are intertwined. In order to tussle with the newly complex and sensitive needs of the modern society, the traditional conformist, controlled, technical or linear approach is no longer of use. Design Thinking provides us with the tool to explore What Could be in order to move towards a better situation or state.
Innovation on the other hand, is a more complex process than design and even than the invention of new products, systems or interaction modes. The acceptance and use by people are also implied. Innovation is also known to be hard to actually practice while the benefits and the needs are easy to understand. It is difficult to teach students to be innovative, creative as well as inventive.
However, by framing Design Thinking in a particular way, the creativity became limited which in turn leads towards failure to innovate. Processes related to innovation relies quite a bit on creativity. They are also said to rely on the existing knowledge and the technical skills possessed by the members of the design team and the others who are involved in the process of design. That is, the learning outcomes of such processes are hard to predict. Thereby, Design thinking and innovation should be integrally incorporated in an organization.
Like creativity, Design thinking attempts to foster as the very concept itself is continually evolving. An example could be stated as the several stages of Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. These steps serve as a platform for the problems to be framed, the right questions to be asked, more ideas to be created and form this, the best answers are chosen. These steps can occur simultaneously and be repeated and is clearly not linear in nature.
The lack of innovation is associated with risk within some businesses which has deemed to be dangerous enough to lead to the creation of a new executive role termed as “Chief Innovation Officer.” This is role is developed in order to ensure a leader who is responsible for the management of the process of innovation in an organization.