SUMMARY - Innovation by Design - Thomas Lockwood

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Here is a summary of the key points:

• Design thinking is a human-centered, innovative problem-solving approach that leads to new products, services, processes and experiences. It has spread from design to business and social sectors.

• Companies are adopting design thinking to drive innovation, build culture, and gain competitive advantage. However, implementation often fails due to lack of cultural fit or understanding. Success requires assessing culture and values first.

• Successful design thinking organizations exhibit 10 key attributes: confronting problems; ambiguity acceptance; constructive conflict; inclusion; open expression; strategic conversations; creative communication; leadership involvement; purposeful thinking; and a “pull factor” where people want to participate.

• These attributes come alive through an organization’s culture and collective imagination - the human motivation to gain knowledge, share ideas freely, and think creatively and critically. This feeds innovation.

• Innovative organizations value and leverage unique cultures. They aim to identify and solve root problems, not just generate ideas. They deliver value to customers and users.

• Co-creation, open spaces, visuals, and storytelling encourage collaboration and sharing. Despite hierarchies, all groups are invited to participate. This leads to engagement, problem-solving, and information sharing.

• Purpose gives meaning and guides innovation. These organizations balance customer focus and internal culture. Purpose motivates possibility thinking and creativity.

• Leadership support, trust in the process, and role modeling are key. Leaders engage in design thinking and expect others to as well, regardless of style.

• The “pull factor” is the emotional momentum from people wanting to engage in design thinking. It spreads participation and accelerates innovation, transcending generations.

• Innovative organizations leverage human emotion as a key element of creativity and business. Rather than eliminating it, they aim to understand it.

• A model aligns customer experience, branding, and culture using FIRO theory. It provides a framework to understand relationships between internal and external stakeholders.

• Design thinking provides a platform for expressing diverse ideas, listening with empathy, and managing conflict constructively. It encourages confronting issues and embracing ambiguity.

Here is a summary of the key points:

• Design thinking can transform culture by changing experiences, perceptions, and interpretations. Success depends on understanding existing culture and being open-minded.

• There are three types of organizational culture:

  1. Participation culture: Values inclusion, engagement, and collaboration. Compatible with design thinking.

  2. Expertise culture: Focused on individual achievement. May require adjustment to support design thinking.

  3. Authenticity culture: Values freedom of expression and empowerment. Also compatible with design thinking.

• The “collective imagination” and three motivations power design thinking:

  1. Participation: The need to feel included and valued. Requires empathy, listening, and collaboration.

  2. Knowledge pursuit: The desire to gain new insights and understanding. Requires curiosity, experimentation, and a “what if” mindset.

  3. Free expression: The ability to express thoughts without fear of judgment. Enables ideation, creativity, and innovation.

• Leaders can tailor design thinking to culture type using the 12 “culture keys” like teamwork, incentives, values, and structure. Success depends on aligning design thinking practices with cultural motivations and norms.

• Younger generations desire more participative and purposeful cultures. Design thinking meets their needs and the overall human drive for participation, learning, and creation.

• There is no one-size-fits-all design thinking approach. Leaders must evaluate their unique culture and identify specific changes and outcomes. An open and adaptive mindset is required.

• Applying design thinking to transform culture depends on using empathy to understand current culture, identifying desired changes, and tailoring the approach to match motivations. The result can be a learning organization where people feel empowered to participate, gain new knowledge, and express creativity.

In summary, design thinking should be tailored to an organization’s particular culture and motivations. When done successfully, it can transform culture in a way that taps collective imagination and the human need for purpose. The key is approaching the work with empathy, understanding, and an open mind.

Here is a summary:

• Design thinking can transform organizational culture through experience. Success depends on understanding existing culture, being open to change, and applying tailored approaches based on culture types:

  • Expertise cultures value competence, logic, and results. Design thinking helps overcome weaknesses by enabling collaboration and customer focus.

  • Participation cultures value teamwork, community, and inclusion. Design thinking aligns well with these values.

  • Authenticity cultures value genuineness, relationships, and ideals. Design thinking also aligns with these values.

• Ten attributes of design thinking organizations:

  1. Leadership commitment
  2. Alignment to purpose
  3. Integrated into culture
  4. Methodology at the core
  5. Investment in skill building
  6. Co-creation and collaboration
  7. Focus on customer experience
  8. Embedded into operations
  9. Scaled throughout
  10. Continuous learning

• Intuit and SAP show how large companies have scaled design thinking:

  • Committed leadership and investment in training
  • Developing a clear framework for design thinking
  • Addressing challenges like lack of time, incentives, and accountability
  • Starting small and letting efforts spread organically
  • Finding champions and empowering employees
  • Using design thinking in customer projects to show its value

• Key lessons:

1) Get executives on board 2) Spread design thinking broadly 3) Focus on action and customer insights 4) Look for passionate advocates 5) Integrate into leadership and culture

• Every organization's path is unique. Leaders must be flexible and help shape an innovative culture. With time and commitment, design thinking can become central to how work gets done and part of a company's identity.

Here is a summary:


  • Kaiser Permanente developed a new nurse shift change process (Nurse Knowledge Exchange) by understanding needs and reframing the problem.

  • P&G developed the Swiffer by reframing the problem from improving mops to an alternative floor cleaning system.


  • Kaiser Permanente partnered with nurses, patients and staff to develop the NKE.

  • P&G partnered with Continuum design firm to develop the Swiffer.


  • Kaiser Permanente focused on nurse and patient needs in developing the NKE.

  • P&G focused on customer needs in developing the Swiffer.

Design thinkingkeys:

  • Problem reframing: Looking at problems in new ways. E.g. Swiffer.

  • User-centered: Developing empathy for those affected by the problem. E.g. NKE.

  • Co-creation: Working with stakeholders and partners to develop solutions. E.g. NKE, Swiffer.

  • Complex problem solving: Tackling ambiguous, multifaceted problems. E.g. NKE.


  • For Kaiser, improved information exchange and continuity of care.

  • For P&G, a successful new product platform (Swiffer) by meeting an unarticulated consumer need.

In summary, design thinking focuses on developing solutions to complex problems through reframing problems, understanding user needs, and co-creating with partners. Key examples show how design thinking was applied to develop new processes and products that delivered important outcomes. The ability to reframe problems and focus on user needs is key to successful design thinking.

Here is a summary of the key insights:

  1. The organizations studied associate with and benchmark each other in using design thinking for change and innovation. They see each other as adept at this.

  2. Most have expertise cultures, but each culture is unique. Using design thinking to understand culture helps determine how to positively influence it.

  3. The success of design thinking depends on aligning it with culture. Lack of leadership support and misalignment are the biggest barriers.

  4. The Hunger Project example shows how "curious confrontation" - facing different mindsets to investigate and learn - helped reframe the problem and solution. Leaders confronted realities to reinvent their strategy.

  5. Design thinking provides a way to manage disagreement and conflict constructively. It allows timely, healthy confrontation instead of dysfunction. It can break down silos by addressing cross-functional disagreements.

  6. Viewing disagreement and conflict as an opportunity is key. While commitment to solutions can lead to competition, design thinking enables diverse thinking and managing resulting conflict.

  7. Design thinking must solve the right problems. The Hunger Project had to stop their initial approach and determine what was missing to address the actual issues. They found the key problems were lack of political will and women's empowerment.

In summary, design thinking can be used strategically to understand culture and reframe problems. With leadership support, it transforms how organizations view and manage disagreement and conflict. This leads to solving the right problems and new, innovative solutions. Aligning design thinking with culture is essential for success in creating change.

Does this cover the key highlights and main takeaways from the summary? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of this summary.

Here is a summary:

• Competitive creativity and developing conflict management skills help organizations better manage disagreement and conflict. This enables greater innovation.

• A curious and collaborative mindset is key. Asking questions, listening without judgment, and focusing on shared purpose helps constructively work through challenges.

• Leadership should model constructive behaviors, confront issues, and reinforce design thinking. They need to take action through difficult conversations and co-creation.

• Measure impact to see how design thinking influences outcomes. Look for events that led to innovation.

• Include diverse, cross-functional groups. More participation means more imagination and insights.

• Continuously improve solutions through iteration. Revisit discussions and make changes to meet everyone’s needs.

• Co-creation turns conflict into opportunity. Engaging groups to find mutually benefitting answers helps overcome struggles with disagreement.

• Success requires understanding people’s experiences and using empathy. Communicate emotional qualities to fuel ideas. Think expansively and inclusively.

• Well-coordinated efforts are key. Start small, build expertise, and grow to achieve scale. At Philips, 150 trainers enabled company-wide co-creation.

• For Philips, design thinking and co-creation led to billions in sales. They are now part of sales, long-term customer engagements, and envisioning future propositions.

• Co-creation addresses complex problems, increases empathy and collaboration, and expands customer involvement. Partnerships and dedicated spaces enable co-creation.

• Align co-creation with processes like Agile, Lean, and stage-gate. Integrate design thinking in HR, innovation, and business transformation like Philips did.

• “Design hacks” put design thinking into practice to solve problems and build business. Co-creation with Costco helped Visa win their business.

• Workspace design impacts collaboration and creativity. Natural light, views, openness, and play promote expansive thinking. LEGO’s philosophy and HQ reflect this.

• LEGO inspires imagination and creativity, taking people back to childhood. LEGO is used in business to promote creative thinking and team building.

Here is a summary:

•Eric Quint, 3M's Chief Design Officer, aims to create an inclusive culture where people feel empowered to contribute. His role is to enrich innovation and the customer experience through design thinking.

•Successful design thinking organizations have senior leaders who champion it. They empower others and role model desired mindsets and behaviors. Leaders align their style with the organizational culture.

•IBM and 3M have long histories of design and innovation. They demonstrate leadership commitment to design thinking through large-scale initiatives. IBM has trained over 50,000 employees in design thinking.

•Adding design leadership, like a Chief Design Officer, requires alignment with senior executives and commitment to transformation. Design thinking can catalyze cultural change towards inclusion, collaboration, and creativity.

•Empathy, curiosity, and observing people are attributes of design leaders. They drive relevant innovation and experiences. Design thinking is a tool for cultural transformation, stimulating new ways of thinking to solve complex problems.

•Successful design thinking leaders use empathy, listen openly, reframe problems as opportunities, embrace experimentation, challenge assumptions, seek diverse input, role model behaviors, develop aligned leaders, welcome change and ambiguity, and view "failure" as learning.

•Leaders choose styles and behaviors aligned with the organizational culture. Mismatched styles struggle, no matter abilities or intentions. Leaders studied tailored their approach to sustain long-term innovation.

•No single leadership style suits design thinking. But leaders who empower, align, and commit to it appear essential for success. They create more leaders, not followers. Leaders demonstrate commitment through direct support and involvement.

•Every experience has elements of theme, context, characters, conflict, and resolution. Understanding these allows empathy—the starting point for design thinking. Emotion, empathy, storytelling, visualization, whole communication, and empowerment matter. Logic and data alone are not enough.

Does this summary accurately capture the essence of the key ideas discussed? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

Here are summaries of the requested sources:

  • 3M pursues "design that matters" to solve problems and improve lives
  • 3M's design process is collaborative, cross-functional, and global
  • 3M focuses on customer empathy and insights through observation
  • 3M takes an iterative approach with rapid prototyping and customer testing
  • 3M's vision is innovative, sustainable solutions and superior experiences
  • Design is a key competitive advantage for 3M

Edgar Papke, True Alignment:

  • True Alignment leads to high performance, innovation and success
  • Lack of alignment causes damage, waste and lost opportunity
  • Four elements: Aligned Leadership, Aligned Systems and Processes, Aligned Strategy, Aligned Values and Culture
  • Aligned Leadership: Shared vision, open communication, model aligned behavior
  • Aligned Systems and Processes: Cross-functional, coordinated, supportive
  • Aligned Strategy: Coherent, transparent, engaging
  • Aligned Culture: Shared values and norms, minimal "silos", continuous learning

Other sources:

  • Design thinking links to human needs and helps education gap
  • Millennials value design thinking attributes like engagement and authenticity
  • Design thinking spreads innovation but faces challenges like measurement
  • 'Awareness' of human needs enables highest design thinking impact
  • Design thinking is a 'learning process' for 'learning organizations'
  • Fifth Order design thinking evolves critical thinking and considers human impact
  • Design thinking offers opportunity to confront humanity's greatest challenges
  • We shared tools, models, and insights on building cultures of innovation
  • We will continue to explore and improve, testing and iterating

In summary:

  • Sources show how design thinking and alignment drive innovation
  • Key themes are meeting human needs, continuous learning, and holistic thinking
  • Challenges include measurement, education, status quo, and 'awareness'
  • Opportunity is to solve important problems and build better futures

    Here is a summary:

  • Collaboration and an optimal customer experience require alignment across an organization.

  • Alignment means having a shared strategy to guide all decision making, as well as shared values and culture.
  • Achieving alignment is challenging but impactful. It enables organizations to achieve extraordinary outcomes.
  • The information provided offers a practical framework and guidance for developing and sustaining alignment.

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