In Innovation by Design, Thomas Lockwood and Edgar Papke explain how any organization can leverage design thinking to produce change, drive new ideas, and deliver meaningful solutions.
They observe, “The collective imagination is humankind’s greatest genius. Throughout pour human history, as we developed and created the world around us, the sharing and building on another has been, and always will be, our best recipe for innovation. The world we continually create for our selves is the manifestation of our collective imagination, the natural desire to come together in community; to collaborate, explore, and learn; and to create what we want and desire to have.
“It gives us the ability to respond to our basic needs, as well as solve even the most complex problems. It fuels the innovation that is the foundation of our competitive global business society. It is our collective imagiation that provides us with the source of of the innovation through which we create a better world and through which we find ways to guide and changed the human experience. Humankind’s desire and drive for innovation is breathtaking. Innovation is who we are. What we do best.”
They suggest that there are several key tenets that appear to be common in design thinking:
- Design thinking provides an effective tool for confronting and managing disagreement and conflict.
- Organizations using design thinking have a belief in and positive mindset about curiosity.
- People who use design thinking demonstrate better inquiry and listening skills, which is the key to effectively managing disagreement and conflict.
- Because design thinking skills can be applied to dealing with disagreement and conflict, confrontation happens in a more timely and healthier manner, thereby avoiding much of the dysfunction and consequences associated with it.
Design thinking is a valued process for confronting disagreements and misalignments among functions, and their leaders, and effectively breaking down unhealthy silos.
One of the greatest challenges any organization or team will face lies in how it effectively manages disagreement and conflict.
The process of design thinking creates a platform for the constructive management of diverse thinking and strategies, and the conflict that often naturally results. Viewing disagreement and conflict as an opportunity is a quality design thinking organizations can engage in. It’s an aspect of creativity and innovation that is natural to any environment in which people are committed to finding and creating the best solutions possible.