…‘design thinking’ often misses a lot of the business realities and leaves them as problems for others to solve. This institutionalises the typically high failure rate in innovation. …
~ Todd Rovak
We believe the business problem and customer problem should be solved concurrently, not sequentially. There are some killer design firms and incredible innovation firms out there — but I wouldn’t use the terms interchangeably.
How do you challenge yourself and your team to ‘think outside the box’?
Honestly, “the box” doesn’t come up too much. Those who work and thrive in innovation naturally push boundaries and don’t need a lot of encouragement to do so. It’s a creative business and I consider this table stakes. Small ancillary point: the box is useful. Those who believe that dropping all constraints is the way to make new things don’t typically get too many things into the market. The technical or regulatory constraints of an industry are real; there are workarounds, but a great solution often leverages these constraints in unique ways; a good process doesn’t pretend constraints don’t exist.
It’s fun to say “there are no bad ideas!” and this brainstorm mentality is the DNA of a lot of painful workshops, but in truth, there are a ton of bad ideas. I’ve authored quite a few myself. Innovation practitioners are trained to think creatively, broadly, experiment and then know the difference between bad and good when there are careers and millions of dollars on the line.