“Work begins with people and understanding what their needs are”
This has been the theme during our visit to IDEO.
IDEO, which famously invented the design thinking methodology, currently innovates in education, food, organizational change and other sectors, redesigning systems and products to serve the purpose they were supposed to from the start. In education, IDEO primarily designs the ways to advance education and weaves individualized learning tools with tech.
Design and creativity can be seen throughout the office (yes, they did come up with a way to hang all the bicycles at the ceiling to save space). In their own words, you can’t ask for creativity in one place and restrict it in another. Innovation doesn’t happen by itself and a specific culture has to be put in place to come up with these ideas, starting from the office layout, to the talent development system, and down to the workplace norms (“people work in different modes and are on their own adventures – if they need something else at that time, we don’t force anything in terms of environment” – smart, huh?).
As for the design thinking process? Well, it’s not the silver bullet after all (hey, they shared it for everyone to use!). To no one’s surprise, implementation is key, and it changes and varies by product.
Fun fact of the day: every IDEO office has a workshop – a real workshop with tools and everything! – where designers are welcome to come and play and build their own prototypes in order to have more skin in the game, so to say.
Onto the next one!