Design-Based Innovation

Integrating Design for Success in Innovation


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The Design-Based Journey

Using your imagination to interpret the graphic image above, what do you see? I see a variety of colored lines heading in the same direction and then all changing direction. Each line looks a little tattered and scuffed, signaling a well-used path.

In a well-executed design-based innovation process, whether the project concerns a product, service, process redesign or a new way of working, the movement from problem analysis, through opportunity identification to solution implementation may involve multiple paths. At the starting point, these paths usually head in the same direction, as the problem requires. During the journey, however, I rarely see any path continuing in a straight line. Instead, paths will re-vector as learnings take place.

An emerging strategy has learnings that may appear as bumps in the path or changes in direction. Although the lines in the image above look fairly solid, they have scrapes and marks that represent the surprises experienced as a result of gained insights. These insights will lead to opportunities. And, one or more opportunities will eventually become a viable solution.

What path do you see in the above graphic? How does it compare to your innovation journey?

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