CASE studies, INDUSTRIAL management research, MARKETING research, FIELD work (Research), CORPORATE finance, and STRATEGIC alliances (Business)
Purpose – Design thinking is a process of continuously redesigning a business to achieve both product and process innovation. The purpose of this paper is to present a this case study of two managers – both highly capable and committed, both seeking to innovate – a design thinking approach with a set of four tools which enables one to succeed with his initiative while the other struggles.Design/methodology/approach – The author demonstrates the use of four tools routinely practiced by successful innovation firms: Journey Mapping – the ethnographic technique to follow the customer home to explore their problems in life; Assumption Testing – a prototyping technique long practiced within any firm's R&D area; Co-creation – the surest way to de-risk a new offering is to involve your value chain partners in the innovation's small initial experiments; and Rapid Prototyping – making small bets fast is nothing more than good old hypothesis generating and testing. Many managers have become so analysis focused that they have forgotten that the best data in an uncertain environment come from real world trials, not extrapolation of history. A tool like assumption testing, that structures the process, is essential.Findings – The paper finds that learning only occurs when we step away from the familiar and accept the uncertainty that inevitably accompanies new experiences. Innovation means moving into uncertainty.Research limitations/implications – The cases are drawn from direct experience working with large US corporations.Practical implications – These are tools that any manager can use to execute an innovation initiative.Originality/value – The paper reveals that it is important to have customer intimacy with a deep and personal empathy with customers as people, rather than as demographic or marketing categories. A focus on improving their lives (not just selling them products), allows perception of new opportunities (unarticulated needs) that others miss. It also highlights the importance of a low-risk approach. One can expect to make mistakes and therefore adopt a portfolio-based, experimental approach, in which multiple small experiments are done to test the ideas in action. Reduce risk whenever possible and increase learning by partnering with suppliers, giving them skin in the game. It also reveals that one should not bet on analysis alone; one should not seek the one right "answer" nor look only for "big" wins at the outset, or to be able to "prove" the value of the idea before moving into the marketplace. All of these beliefs are fatally flawed in the context of the uncertainty surrounding growth. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Harvard Business Review; Mar2001, Vol. 79 Issue 3, p149-154, 6p
INNOVATION adoption and NONFICTION
Lots of companies say they use brainstorming, hot teams, and other techniques to foster innovation. But for IDEO, the successful design firm in Silicon Valley, that work is its bread and butter. In The Art of Innovation, IDEO general manager Tom Kelley explains how the firm works. Reviewer Michael Schrage, research associate at MIT's Media Lab, extols the book for its engaging style and comprehensive coverage. But he warns readers that what really drives the company is not fancy methodologies but an underlying "cult" of innovation. As a result, IDEO has come up with many great new products, but it's had much less success in teaching client companies to be innovative themselves. The book may suffer a similar fate. This cult of innovation is what allows IDEO to get beyond the political gamesmanship that stifles many traditional companies. The firm's employees believe passionately in innovation, a focus that enables individuals from diverse backgrounds to argue about alternatives but still unite in generating an effective design. And the company's emphasis on prototyping gives people concrete things to play with, so they don't get bogged down in mere talk. The back-and-forth within these hot teams--and ideally with clients--helps the firm settle on creations that are likely to succeed in the marketplace. IDEO's culture allows it to be very innovative about the process of innovation itself. But the overwhelming majority of organizations can't afford to make faith in innovation the cornerstone of their cultures. IDEO is as much a cultural outlier as Virgin or Southwest, says Schrage. Ignore at your peril, but imitate at your own risk. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
International Journal of Production Research; Nov98, Vol. 36 Issue 11, p3223-3224, 2p
DEVELOPMENTS in Rapid Prototyping Tooling (Book) and PLANNING Scheduling of Production Systems, The (Book)
Reviews the books 'Developments in Rapid Prototyping and Tooling,' edited by Graham Bennett and 'The Planning and Scheduling of Production Systems: Methodologies and Applications,' edited by A. Artiba and S.E. Elmaghraby.
Etlinger, Henry A., Dawkins, Spencer, Vassiliou, Marius S., and Lutz, Michael
IEEE Software; Jan90, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p140, 3p
STRUCTURED Rapid Prototyping (Book), BASIC Data Communications (Book), and HIGHLY Parallel Computing (Book)
Reviews three books. `Structured Rapid Prototyping: An Evolutionary Approach to Software Development,' by John L. Connell and Linda Brice Shafer; `Basic Data Communications: A Comprehensive Approach,' by William J. Beyda; `Highly Parallel Computing,' by George S. Almasi and Alan Gottlieb.