Iscussion: Design-Thinking Inspiration and Ideation

Discussion: Design-Thinking Inspiration and Ideation

While you are doing your coursework for this program, what workspace are you using? Are you currently at your workplace in your office or cubicle, or perhaps working in a home office or a shared space?

Regardless of where you do your work for this class, do you find it to be an ideal workspace? Perhaps you need better lighting, a quieter environment, or inspiring and motivating mementos to keep you focused. Perhaps you need an innovative improvement. These are exactly the types of issues that can be solved by design thinking and the application of your own creative skills.

This week, you will complete assignments that involve the design-thinking process. By utilizing this creative process, you will gain a deeper insight into the ways that you can bring creativity to your own life at work and at home.

Phase 1: Inspiration

The first phase of the process, as described by Tim Brown, is inspiration.
Take some time to interact with the space where you work. This could be at your job, where you do homework, or your home office. Make sure it is an environment over which you have some control, such as with lighting, sound, furniture placement, etc.

Adopt the role of a neutral observer and generate a list of observations of how you use this workspace. Your list should answer the following questions:

What about the workspace is already optimized or ideal?

Why do these things work well?

What about the workspace could be improved?

Are there problems or difficulties that you repeatedly experience?

What behaviors, functions, and interactions that take place in your workspace seem interesting or notable?

Your process should take the form of brainstorming. That is, the initial list does not need to be formal in tone. Rather, you should strive to capture your observations as they occur and generate as many ideas as possible.

After completing your list, write a short paragraph describing in greater depth one of the difficult or problematic aspects of your workspace you identified during the brainstorming phase. This will be the workspace challenge that you will continue to work on for Phase 2 of the design thinking process. Remember, you are not coming up with solutions at this time, but only a detailed description of the workspace challenge you have identified.

Phase 2: Ideation

To begin Phase 2 of the design thinking process, focus on the workspace challenge you identified in Phase 1 of this Discussion. Considering the workspace challenge you indentified, brainstorm a list of at least 10 innovative ideas that could resolve or help you meet the challenge; if you come up with more than 10 ideas, feel free to post them all. To generate innovative ideas, consider the following guidelines:

Do not evaluate your ideas; all are valid and there are no bad ideas.

Do not limit your ideas to products. An innovation can also be a new service, process, or organizational change.

Reach the maximum amount of possible ideas; do not waste time analyzing.

Do not fear extreme ideas; often the best innovations come from ideas that initially seem extreme.

Strive to suggest a disruptive innovation if at all possiblea a completely new and radical idea.

Post by Day 3 your list of workspace observations and your description of one particular problem from Phase 1, and your innovative ideas list from Phase 2.


Magadley, W., & Birdi, K. (2012, February). Two sides of the innovation coin? An empirical investigation of the relative correlates of idea generation and idea implementation. International Journal of Innovation Management, 16(1), 1a 28.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article investigates the innovative process by analyzing idea generating and idea implementation separately and looking closely at the influence of individual level factors and group and organizational factors.

Brown, T. (2008, June). Design thinking. Harvard Business Review, 86(6), 84a 92. Retrieved from 79d67270626d8aca2cb2e933457d14e3

When you think of design in the business context, do you think of the appealing packaging of a product like the iPhone or an iconic logo like the one on the Coca-Cola bottle? Design thinking, in the business context, refers not only to these aesthetic dimensions, but to a creative-thinking process that carefully considers user needs, financial possibilities, and many other factors. The design-thinking method is a new way to bring creativity to each step of the product or service development model. As you read this article, consider how creativity, when brought to every step of business processes, can lead to innovation.

Brown, B., & Scott, A. D. (2011, June). How P&G tripled its innovation success rate. Harvard Business Review, 89(6), 64a 72. Retrieved from 75470c4919e05c6c08c6ea7694c13420

Proctor and Gamble has always been a leader in its industry; for a time, however, its efforts at innovation were met with only modest commercial success. This article explores how P&G created and instituted a revolutionary method to systematize the processes that lead to innovation.