The 2020 Innovation Issue

It’s time to think of yourself as a designer. That might be the last way you’d describe yourself in your professional life. But “design thinking”—the name for a particular way of coming up with products and services to solve customers’ problems—is a powerful tool. And it’s within the reach of everyone. Read all about design thinking and how to implement it below but also check out stories about efforts to find a COVID-19 vaccine, how a little-known not-for-profit is changing transportation in Indiana, how bias creeps into product development and much more.

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Design thinking: A powerful tool for all companies

  • Design thinking has been around since at least the 1960s, and initially, its focus was in areas such as architecture, graphic design and industrial design, to produce physical products. But today, design thinking is used nearly everywhere. You can try it, too. Read more
  • Examine the goal of each step in the design thinking process, plus one way to execute that step. Read more
  • Design thinking is generally described as a five-step process, with specific names for each step. But in reality, the people and companies that use design thinking adapt their own take on it, by combining or breaking out some of the steps or using a more conceptual approach. Read more
  • Innovation means not just exploring new frontiers but also solving problems while doing so. And Christopher Vice, now at Studio Science, has a resume that reflects a career doing just that. Read more
  • In short, design thinking helps us to keep seeking what is right and true, rather than holding onto what we already thought to be perfected. Read more

Try these exercises to open up your perspective

Design thinking requires participants to communicate freely, open their minds to new ideas and look at problems in new ways. Here are some exercises to help. Read more

Innovation in action

Improv helps foster leadership, teamwork

ActUp Consulting founder’s classes focus on principles of improvisational theater—celebrating failure, adapting to the moment, and making your fellow performers look good. Read more

Changing health care