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Making Innovation Happen
A Global Aggregation of Leading Edge Articles on Management Innovation, Creative Leadership, Creativity and Innovation.
This is the official blog of Ralph Kerle, Chairman, the Creative Leadership Forum. The views expressed are his own and do not represent the views of the International or National Advisory Board members. Tweet ______________________________________________________________________________________
Entries in designthinking (22)
Companies should lead their users, not the other way around. The user is king. It’s a phrase that’s repeated over and over again as a mantra: Companies must become user-centric. But there’s a problem: It doesn’t work. Here’s the truth: Great brands lead users, not the other way around.
At a project’s start, the possibilities are endless. That clean slate is both lovely and terrifying. As designers, we begin by filling space with temporary messes and uncertain experiments. We make a thousand tiny decisions quickly, trying to shape a message that will resonate with our audience. Then in the middle of a flow, we must stop and share our unfinished work with colleagues or clients. This typical halt in the creative process begs the question: What does the critique do for the design and the rest of the project? Do critiques really help and are they necessary? If so, how do we use this feedback to improve our creative output?
Recently I came across an article from a tweet of an acquaintance of mine from Arc90, where I am just wrapping up some consultant work on a small project. The article’s name was: “The Undesigned Web”. It made me flinch a bit at how loosely the concept of design is thrown around without a full grasp on what it truly means. I was even more surprised to see that many web designers agreed with what was said in the article. Now, before continuing, I would like to mention that I have nothing against the author. I am sure he is a great guy that finishes all his vegetables at diner and helps little old ladies cross the street. That said, it does not take away from the fact that his article is a great reminder of something us designers and industry folk have to pay closer attention to. Design is not solely aesthetics.
Few organizations, Tim Brown says, are set up to allow much creative collaboration, and even those are often afflicted by a culture that mishandles the results. “Too many ideas that get through to the market make it there because somebody senior is the one sponsoring them,” he says, “not because they’re necessarily the best ideas.” Brown looks to “design thinking” as an answer: incorporating designers’ problem-solving and idea-generation methods into a traditional organization, working with—and occasionally against—traditional R&D. The idea is to broaden horizons and instill a more innovative orientation, especially in a period of economic crisis. “In times when we’re scared,” Brown remarks, “we tend to get tunnel vision, don’t we?”