Could Design Thinking Fail?


recent posting by Jeffrey Tjendra got me thinking about the possible failure of using design thinking. In his article, he sees the problem arising from the business thinking colliding with design thinking. 

He lists 13 possible ways design thinking would fail;
  1. Misperception of Meaning
  2. Loss of Meaning
  3. Misunderstanding and Not Accepting Creative Elements 
  4. Lack of Business Elements
  5. Language and Perspective Barriers
  6. Missing Future
  7. Wrong Implementation of Process
  8. Poor Direction Scoping 
  9. Co-creation at the End of Process
  10. Misconception of Approach to Creativity
  11. Wishful Thinking for Culture of Innovation
  12. The End Process is not the End
  13. Risk of Stagnancy

I think he does have a few good thoughts and it does highlight the problem when good intentions can back fire, like KPIs. I believe many of the issues can be corrected with a session of Theory U. Theory U can help give grounding and a landing strip for the future that needs to be created. It taps into the potential of each member in the innovation process. 

Another mindset to change is that innovation is not the end, but a practice, a process which must be continually used. Its not a one time event. Innovation is a characteristic, not a product.

The problems associated with implementation lies with the team and facilitator. Good facilitation is important and many many companies fail to recognize this role. Many operational people just don’t have time for facilitation and to be content experts. There should be a Facilitation team that will help teams in a company be innovative.


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