Tag: The Other Design Thinking


Between the Lines: McKinsey Survey

While we are always interested in what our colleagues over at McKinsey have to say on the subject of innovation-enabling in organizations, we often see their various observations from a quite different perspective.

Reading between the lines of their recent survey, entitled Making Innovation Structures Work , we noticed a couple results being stated in ways other than how we might state them.

The McKinsey report states that, of the 2,927 organizations surveyed, “33% ranked product and service creation innovation as their companies’ primary focus over the next one to three years”….That would seem to indicate that a much larger number (67%) consider areas OTHER than products or services to be their primary innovation focus over the next one to three years.

Like this:

Primary Innovation Focus: Next 1-3 Years

33% Products & Service Innovation

67% OTHER Organizational Innovation

Certainly many of the organizations that we work with are seeking help to tackle all kinds of organizational challenges – not just those related to product and service creation.

As important as new product and service creation continues to be, savvy organizational leaders recognize that product and service challenges are often entangled in other organizational challenges, including innovation skill-building, innovation leadership, integration of data/information streams into innovation, cross-vertical collaboration, leadership alignment, and innovation culture building. More than having innovation as a corporate value, having an integrated innovation-enabling strategy is key.

What we see is a rising recognition of, and interest in, “The OTHER Innovation” categories.

We did agree with several other findings in the McKinsey report related to innovation integration in organizations, including this one:

“...While an overwhelming majority say their separate functions’ organizational structures have a positive influence on outcomes, these functions face the same challenges regardless of structure. This finding reaffirms the classic need for strategy (a key factor for success) to precede structure when companies decide to create new innovation functions. Companies should also focus on other enablers, such as C-level [Leadership Team] support, which the results indicate can drive success—and take care to tailor the function to existing company objectives and culture. Companies cannot rely on a single innovation function alone to create successful outcomes; it must be integrated with the entire organization.”

You can find the McKinsey Report here.


Occupy Reimagining Design Education

Humantific CoFounder, GK VanPatter was recently interviewed by Wycliffe Radum of Aalto University Design Factory in Finland.

Wycliffe Radum: In the first Future of Innovation [CEB] conference in Helsinki, in September 2009, you challenged Aalto University’s designers to reach into the realm of organizational innovation by designing strategies and systems rather than products and services. Two years have passed since the conference and you have visited Aalto University a few times during this period. Do you perceive that Aalto University has risen up to the challenge? Has there been a noticeable shift towards the desired organizational changes?

Garry K. VanPatter: “Hello Wycliffe: Happy to do this with you…Yes, I do well remember speaking at that Future of Innovation Conference in Helsinki. I met many terrific people there doing interesting work including some Alto leadership folks who were working on the university combine initiative at that time. It seemed then like an ambitious undertaking. I do recall that several Aalto leaders were interested in the NextDesign Geographies Framework of Design 1,2,3,4 in addition to what Humantific does……”Continue Reading..


ReThinking Self-Organizing Innovation

Humantifc CoFounder GK VanPatter rerethinks the subject of self-organizing innovation. Having problems with getting innovation going on your cross-disciplinary team? Wasting alot of time and energy? Frustration levels rising? Are you experiencing the High-High-Low Effect?

We love self-organizing initiatives and recognize that there are many ways to self organize innovation efforts in organizations and in society.

The difficult truth is, in the marketplace we see a lot of innovation initiatives being referred to as “self-organizing” and “emergent” that look like mirror images of innovation efforts from 15-20 years ago. Some of the most well intentioned self-organizing innovation efforts seen today, seem to jump off from an odd-ball mixture of up to date and outdated knowledge. Often seen is what we call the High-High-Low Effect: High awareness of content and technology knowledge combined with low awareness of cross-disciplinary innovation process knowledge. For participants it can be a puzzling picture to be swimming around in…..See more inside the White Paper.