In the last a couple of years, I have become very interested in design thinking as a mechanism that not only helps you to make intangible things tangible but also finding creative problem solutions that foster social impact and innovation.
Nowadays, a significant number of small and large organisation have started to equip themselves with a variety of innovation toolkits not only to help them to grow further but also to inspire and empower people to innovate and solve problems that matter.
As Tim Brown, CEO at IDEO, shares in one of his TED Talks, design thinking starts with people and culture before even start to have ideas. Design thinking rapidly moves on to learning by making. In other words, “thinking with your hands”. Moreover, Tim Brown emphasises on the importance of prototyping - how it speeds up the process of innovation, because this is the only way to test your idea and learn its strengths and the weaknesses.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. SCALE FAST.
There are a lot of design thinking toolkits on the market, and here I’d like to share my top three tookits which I found more useful, inspiring and easy to understand and implement in a real environment. These are the 100%Open Toolkit, IDEO Design Kit and Adobe Kickbox.
My first steps in design thinking started with the 100%Open Toolkit which I have been using most in the last a couple of years. This what I do like is that it gives you the flexibility to create your path by choosing tools, based on questions as well as shows other relevant tools to consider to apply for your idea. There is also a working example of each tool that helps you to understand how it works.
In contrast, the IDEO Design Kit is organised more like a step-by-step guide which navigates you through the tools and their implementation, accompanied by case studies. It also shows suggested time that each tool takes, a level of difficulties, the number of participants and materials needed.
Last but not least, Adobe Kickbox is designed to empower companies with a simple mechanism that helps to innovate with their employees. It’s organised as a 2-day workshop that aims not only to encourage employees to unleash their creativity but also proving them with funding to prototype their ideas in a very early stage. Despite the fact that the Kickbox is mainly created for digital innovation, personally, I think that some of the tools could be easily implemented for any kinds of ideas.
Aside from my experience, you can see below some more specific information about each toolkit and find out what would be most helpful for you.
100%Open Toolkit is an Open Innovation Toolkit that contains 3E’s phases: Extract, Exploit, Explore. Each phase provides a set of tools that pave the way to spark an innovation through collaboration. The Toolkit navigates you through questions that help you finding the right tools needed for finding unmet needs to defining your open innovation manifesto and business model. The purpose and implementation of each tool are explained in an easy way accompanied by a work example as well as shows other relevant tools to help you working towards your idea.
To tease you a bit more, a new updated 100%Open Toolkit will be launched in January 2017. Stay tuned! In the meantime, you can check the current version here. It’s a good deal for free!
IDEO Design Kit was fundraised by a Kickstarter campaign and successfully launched in April 2015. It is a human-centred design kit that presents 57 design methods supported with a full slate of worksheets and case studies from projects that illustrates the methodology in action. The methodologies are based on 3 phases: Inspiration, Ideation, Implementation that help to define your innovation strategy as a step-by-step guide to unleashing your creativity. The IDEO Design Kit is free and available online - designkit.org.
Adobe Kickbox was launched at the beginning of 2016 - one of the newest toolkits on the market. The Kickbox was developed by Mark Randall, Adobe’s VP of Creativity, building on 30 years of experience of successfully innovating. By the creation of “innovation-in-a-box” kit, Kickbox aims to provoke more companies to start innovating together with their people. It is an intrapreneurial toolkit that aims to encourage businesses to foster digital innovation together with their employees in a 2-days workshop. It could be used by individuals too. Each box contains everything an enterprise innovator needs – from instructions, innovation tools within six levels (Inception, ideate, Improve, Investigate, Iterate, Infiltrate), caffeine and sugar to pre-paid credit card in the amount of US$ 1,000 to help innovators to funding and prototyping their ideas. Check it out here – it’s free!
So, if you have an idea (and I bet you already have at least one bubbling in your head), roll up your sleeves, get lots of post-it notes and sharpies and be playful.
We’re curious to find out how’s it going and which tools work best for you. So, let us know.