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Design Thinking


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Design Thinking


Since I teach Design Thinking (DT) and facilitate corporate DT workshops, lots of people have asked me how they can learn more about DT. To get you started, here are some of my favourite videos and articles. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to know more!

Short Videos to Get You Started

This is a beautiful visualisation of an individual’s innovation journey, as well as continual innovation. DT, however, is normally a team journey, so keep moving forward to the next video!

Sesame Street wanted an app. IDEO said they had to find people’s needs first. After finding key needs of parents and children, IDEO did design an app that made life better. Because it addressed real needs and “pain points” (not because it was the “coolest tech”), Elmo Calls became the #1 app on the AppStore for ages 0 - 5.

Although it’s hard to share unfinished work, it’s often more productive to do so. Here’s the “low-tech” prototype that got budget approval to develop the multi-miliion-dollar Elmo Calls app. ‘Just start with cardboard and find out how people want to interact with your system, even before coding an electronic prototype. Make it human first.


Beginner / background info & methodologies

… including IDEO (the world’s top DT practice) and IBM iX (the world’s largest dt practice)

First, have a look at Wikipedia, which provides a great overview on the Design Thinking page, including the Daylight video — a different methodology from IDEO and IBM. All DT practices include common elements, but each follows a different (proprietary) methodology.

From the first commercially-viable computer mouse through a variety of products and services today, here’s an overview of DT from Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO.

The best 8-minute overview of IDEO’s Design Thinking I’ve ever found — an absolute classic.

IBM’s DT approach and practice


business value, process, and trends

Classic stories of the business value & ROI created with Design Thinking. If you're looking for examples or research studies to support your case for doing DT, this is a must-see.

Human-Centered Design, explained by IDEO’s founder, David Kelley

IDEO CEO Tim Brown shares the history of DT and where it’s going, including a bigger role for designers than just making things “pretty.”


on creativity

Heartwarming and insightful

TED’s most popular video of all time: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

When did we stop being children dreaming of shark tales and become adults who wanted smooth skin?


Creative confidence, play, and DT when you don’t know you’re design-thinking

On building the confidence to create…

Play can be seriously productive.

You don’t even have to know you’re design-thinking to do it well.


I love to use the ExperienceInnovation DT simulation built by ExperiencePoint and IDEO. It’s a real 4-month IDEO project, condensed into a 4-hour experiential-learning game. Participants learn methodology, tools, and techniques by trying them out. If you have a group of 12 - 200 participants, you can contact me to conduct a session. If you’d like to participate as an individual, you can contact ExperiencePoint for open-enrollment sessions in your area.

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Here’s some favourite articles — classic and new — most of which are available for purchase & download from Harvard Business School Publishing - Education:

Bason, C. & Austin, R. (2019). The Right Way to Lead Design Thinking. Harvard Business Review. R1902F-PDF-ENG.

Brown, T. (2008). Design Thinking. Harvard Business Review. R0806E-PDF-ENG.

Deighmann, D. & van der Heijde, R. (2016). Web ArticleHow Design Thinking Turned One Hospital into a Bright and Comforting Place. Harvard Business Digital. H03AM0-PDF-ENG.

ExperiencePoint, IDEO. (undated). ExperienceInnovation™ Pre-Read (whitepaper).

ExperiencePoint. (undated). What's Design Thinking Really Like? (whitepaper).

Kim, S., Myers, C., & Allen, L. (2017). Health Care Providers Can Use Design Thinking to Improve Patient Experiences. Harvard Business Digital. H03VGC-PDF-ENG.

Kolko, J. (2015). Design Thinking Comes of Age. Harvard Business Review. R1509D-PDF-ENG.

Kupp, M., Anderson, J., & Reckhenrich, J. (2017). Why Design Thinking in Business Needs a Rethink. Harvard Business Digital. SMR627-PDF-ENG.

Martin, R. & Brown, T. (2015). Design for Action. Harvard Business Review. R1509C-PDF-ENG.

Liedtka, J. (2018). Why Design Thinking Works. Harvard Business Digital. R1805D-PDF-ENG.

Martin, R. (2017). Web ArticleUse Design Thinking to Build Commitment to a New Idea. Harvard Business Digital. H03DUX-PDF-ENG.

Sutton, R. & Hoyt, D. (2016). Web ArticleBetter Service, Faster: A Design Thinking Case Study. Harvard Business Digital. H02LF1-PDF-ENG.


That’s probably enough Design Thinking for now! Happy journey, and contact me if you need some coaching or consulting help. :)