My personal hopes for the future of innovation is build on conversations I was lucky enough to have with people like Bettina von Stamm, Mat Hunter from IDEO, Kevin McCullagh from PLAN or John Bates from London Business School. It implies that a greater variety of disciplines will understand the benefit of using design methods or what is talked about as design thinking used in new contexts. The user centric orientation of design thinking will help to create new products, services and business models, which have more meaning for the consumer and the marketplace. Other characteristics of design thinking could also be important for the future of innovation. Namely:
Experimentation at early stages of a project to engage as many stakeholders as possible in the discussion stages of a project and therefore constantly refining ideas, into concepts, and finally into real products and services.
Keeping a wide perspective on the project at all times, even when working on details of the solution, helps taking into consideration the environment a service, product or business model will sit in.
The ability to accept ambiguity during the process and take it as an opportunity that there is not one right or wrong answer. This mind set might just lead to multiple concepts that can benefit from each other in the end.
The orientation from the future backwards rather than projecting what is and what has been into the future.
Innovation is only possible when challenging the norm and questioning a brief one has been given, becomes inherent to working when trying to find the best possible answer to a problem. More precisely when opportunity finding becomes more important than problem solving, which leads to answers that were not apparent or existing before - where designing is related very closely to inventing.
Nurturing the right breeding ground for design thinking, will make it necessary to overcome hierarchies between disciplines and to fully embrace the symbiosis of engineering, finance, operation and design; all disciplines needed during a project to guarantee a successful outcome. The recognition of the need for joint efforts on an equal level is important not only for product but also for service and business design. The basis for this level playing field must be laid early on in primary education to prevent stereotypes from building up, it then needs to be strengthened in secondary education and build and expanded on in graduate and postgraduate courses.