Thursday, 1 February 2018

'Think like a system, act like an entrepreneur' - RSA Innovation Report

In the run-up to the KIN Spring Workshop at The Shard on 22nd March, we will be sharing some insights on 'Reimagining the Innovative Organisation' (the theme of the workshop).

The first of these is an excellent RSA paper* that illustrates the value of melding Design Thinking, Systems Thinking and entrepreneurship.

https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/rsa_from-design-thinking-to-system-change-report.pdf



KIN has looked at Design Thinking in the past and the Spring workshop will feature a Design Thinking exercise from Treehouse.  The paper posits that this approach is not sufficient without a holistic perspective or context in which an innovation is to be deployed or scaled. We also recently had an excellent Systems Thinking masterclass led by the School of Systems Change, so we are clearly on the right path!

A brief extract that underlines the importance of human-centred approach to innovation...

"In Democratising Innovation, Eric von Hippel argues that we have moved into a ‘user-centred’ as opposed to ‘manufacturer-centric’ era of innovation. As Jeanne Liedtka said in the 2015 Batten Briefing on Innovation and Growth : “The most secure source of new ideas that have true competitive advantage, and hence, higher margins, is customers’ unarticulated needs.” Businesses are now routinely generating innovation using human centred methods. These processes employ user research, experimentation, prototyping, and iteration and foster innovations that meet a particular human need rather than being purely product-driven. These methods have been used to inform design innovations in everything from airline flatbeds at British Airways to breathable sportswear at Nike. 

Whilst Design thinking has obvious benefits in product innovation, it's application to management processes and service solutions is less clear. We will be considering this in depth at the workshop. The RSA report supports this application...

Design-led innovation has demonstrated a clear dividend in consumer facing industries, and design thinking is no longer the preserve of product developers. The process also generates service solutions, new concepts and governance models, and it is being used to envisage new business strategies and services across sectors, including the public sector". 

* Thanks to Izzy Taylor of Plan International for bringing the RSA report to KIN's attention

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