Action

(Examples are collaboration, leadership and prototyping).

Successful design thinking requires flexible, overlapping, multidisciplinary teamwork (Seidel & Fixson, 2013). Burkus (2014, 108) agrees when noting that “overly cohesive teams rarely produce outstanding creative works”. The author is also of the opinion “that ‘structured conflicts,’ rather than a nurturing environment, are more effective for innovation” (Burkus, 2014, p. 108). The authors Leifer, Meinel, and Plattner (2011, xiii) believe “high impact teams work at the intersection of technology, business, and human values”. Thus, confirming multidisciplinary team work within design thinking.

Tim Browncalls for collaboration when stating that society no longer needs the standalone creative resource, but what he terms the “interdisciplinary collaborator” (Brown, 2008, p. 87). Confirming this Ketter (2016, 23) states “one of the keys to coming up with innovative solutions is cross-disciplinary collaboration”. Plattner supports the importance of a mind shift towards collaboration being “a key component of problem solving” (L. Leifer et al., 2012b, p. 17). In confirming this Ketter (2016, 24) notes “treat and teach it as a discipline comprised of a powerful set of methods that teams can integrate into their daily work and employ throughout the development process”. This is in line with the collaborative and cooperative approach found within design thinking. Tim Brownconfirms this in a statement on the IDEO website that “complex problems are best solved collaboratively” (Kelley, 2016). Respondents to the 2015 Hasso Plattner Study supported Brown’s thinking when noting that they saw design thinking as “a tool or way for better collaboration in teams across disciplines and organizational levels” (Jan et al., 2016, p. 39).

The competitive environment of innovation and design require people to acquire a new or improved set of skills. One of these skills is ‘design thinking’, an analytic and creative process and inquiry that provides opportunities to create and prototype models, gather feedback, design and redesign for solving ‘wicked’ problems as well as human-centred open problems (Akpinar et al., 2015, p. 151). In supporting this the 2015 Hasso Plattner Study reported that respondents saw “design thinking as a bunch of tools, techniques and a collection of best practices” for solving problem (Jan et al., 2016, p. 41).

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