Imagine that you have a great idea for a new product or service that you are sure your customers will love; or a solution to a problem that is guaranteed to fix it. For a lot of teams, this is enough inspiration to move full steam ahead with new product or service development.
Who has the time or need for brainstorming several ideas when you already have a solution in mind, right? Wrong.
When teams jump right to a single solution, no matter how good it may sound, and don’t take time to brainstorm and test multiple ideas, chances are pretty high that the best solution isn’t being realized.
So, while they might save a little time on the front-end by diving straight into the design process, they lose a whole lot of time and money on the back-end when they have to fix the idea, or scrap it altogether and start again.
This isn’t just a theory, it’s been proven by the brilliant team at IDEO, the global design firm and a partner of ExperiencePoint. To understand what conditions lead to creative outcomes, IDEO studied 500 innovative companies through its Creative Difference project to identify the six qualities that are essential to innovation.
Why more ideas are better
The reason for this much higher rate of success isn’t about volume. It’s about creating a culture where brainstorming, experimentation and prototyping are an important part of decision-making. When teams integrate these components into their design process, they start to look for ideas in new places, to collaborate in fresh ways, and to seek out feedback to ensure they aren’t making decisions without considering all the facts. It also ensures they are exploring lots of different ways to solve problems to be sure the best idea (not just the first idea) is ultimately chosen.
To achieve this kind of success, you can’t just demand that teams generate a set number of ideas before moving forward. Teams need training on how to make brainstorming, iteration, experimentation and feedback part of the design process; and they need to be challenged to solve the next problem using prototypes and tests so they can experience the value of design thinking tools for themselves.
Over time, this process gets woven into their design strategy to the point where it becomes a best practice. That’s when you know human-centered design thinking has become part of the foundation of your culture.
Learn how to enable innovation skill-building at scale here or download our free ebook Kickstart Innovation: A Guide for Organizations.