The One Thing You Need to Generate Great Ideas

January 30, 2014

A drawing is worth a thousand words. That's my version of the age-old adage. When it comes to expressing the functional and emotional merits of a new idea, I firmly believe you have to make it visual. All children draw. Then, somewhere in the course of becoming logical adults, we unlearn this eleme...

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The 7 Values That Drive IDEO

January 21, 2014

Clients often ask me how we built IDEO's creative culture. For 20 years, I did a lot of hand-waving and gave vague answers. Then, about a year ago, we decided we really should put our values in writing. The result was a slim hardcover called The Little Book of IDEO. In it, we distilled what makes o...

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The Power of Asking the Right Questions

January 7, 2014

Some think tenacity is the secret to following through on New Year’s resolutions. I think it's more about asking the right questions and having the confidence to act on them. I talked with my friend Don Norman recently about the value of asking interesting questions—a central tenant of design think...

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Top 5 Design Makeovers for 2014

January 6, 2014

Making drones less dreadful is #1 on my redesigns of 2014 list This time of year, everyone seems to be making a list. Lists of resolutions. Lists predicting what’s to come. I’ve decided to focus on innovations that could benefit from a human-centered redesign. A few of these inventions are already ...

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How Might We Improve the Health & Wealth of Cities?

December 16, 2013

At IDEO, we often start brainstorms with the phrase, "How Might We" (HMW, for short). We use these three words because they help frame a problem in an open-ended, optimistic, and collaborative way. “How” assumes there are solutions out there. “Might” says some of the ideas may work, others won’t—eit...

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Why Better Listeners are Better Innovators

December 9, 2013

An IDEO researcher practicing "creative listening." What would an Argentinian car mechanic know about childbirth? If you’re Jorge Odon, father of five, quite a bit. Or at least enough to design a low-cost, low-tech instrument that could revolutionize how doctors assist mothers during difficult birt...

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Stuck in a Job You Hate?

December 2, 2013

Illustration Credit: Alyana Cazalet Don't let fear of failure constrict your career. While there’s a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, new figures from Gallup's 2013 State of the American Workplace Report suggest having a personally rewarding job isn’t one of them. Just 30 percent of emplo...

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4 Bio-Inspired Tips to Create Better Teams

November 19, 2013

By Tim Brown and Jane Fulton Suri There’s an entire industry built around how to be a better leader and build strong, dynamic teams. But for the last few years, my colleague and dear friend Jane Fulton Suri and I have been looking to the earth and seas and sky for inspiration. A Partner, Chief Cre...

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The Secret to Innovation: Think Like a Kid

November 13, 2013

“I’m not a creative person.” I hear that all the time from clients when they first start working with IDEO. It’s an offhand comment, meant as an excuse for not being able to come up with innovative ideas on their own, but behind it lies a fear of failure—of being judged by others. While it’s temptin...

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My First Job: Valuable Lessons from Unpromising Opportunities

November 5, 2013

One of my first jobs was redesigning industrial woodworking machines. Beyond the odd paper round, I landed my first paying job in high school as a store clerk for the local Waitrose. It was at this venerable UK supermarket chain that I learned to show up on a regular basis and received my first les...

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