I have spent the last nine months getting to grips with ‘design thinking’. I love the concept, which is all about finding the ‘sweet spot’ at the overlap of positive user experience, technology and commercial success.
I love it so much that I have already written another blog post on how critical I think it is to social and commercial innovation (the post has a number of great resources – check it out if you are interested in learning more).
Since writing that blog, I have had the opportunity to advance a proposal for a social innovation lab here in Queenstown, based on co-design principles and act as outreach coordinator in the local launch of GovHack, which is all about using open data to innovate for the public good.
Most importantly, I have come to learn that it is the prototyping, or testing, phase that is at the heart of a robust and creative design process.
Most people will read ‘testing’ and think of a science lab, or an engineering facility. While these are the quintessential hubs of the prototyping approach, I believe that the prototyping of an idea can be undertaken across all sectors. In fact, I have found the work going on in the social sector by the likes of OpenIDEO in the United States, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation/TASCI in Australia and ThinkPlace and Innovate Change here in New Zealand, to be the most inspiring.
Another key learning from my ‘year of design thinking’ is that the prototyping phase is best undertaken collaboratively.
Your organisation may already do this informally – Monday meetings, tossing ideas around, sharing articles on the group email. While this culture of informal innovation is really important to any enterprise, I have experienced real benefit from having the ‘third party’ perspective involved in the conversation.
This is where Coronet Wordsmith can come in. By providing a set of tools and applying fresh eyes to any challenge or change in your organisation, we can work with you to design your way to success. Applying the principles of ‘lean thinking’ and ‘fail fast’, we can get clarity, quickly.
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Image credit: Michael Shanks