Next on stage was Valerie Casey, Chief Product Officer for the Samsung Global Innovation Center. Valerie presented a very engaging view of the innovators dilemma, which was introduced in Clayton Christensen book of the same name. The idea that was presented was that the gap between start ups and corporation is beginning to close as start ups are getting extraordinary amounts of funding that begin to calcify their organizations and they end up becoming more corporate like. As these organizations and their corporate counterparts they become more blinded by sustaining innovation by catering to customer needs and empathy. The very processes of design that we preach begin to inhibit the innovative spirit that they were once built on. These cultures can't separate themselves enough from the evolution of sustaining business in order to see new business models that may open new markets or opportunities.
After laying this groundwork she purposed a second wave of design thinking that addresses some current issues within the design environment. The first issue she raised was the idea of the innovation myth. The idea that innovation comes from a lone inventor needs to be dispelled in favor of the reality of multiple people arriving at solution. She was more in favor of a porous open innovation system that drives toward a start up culture. The next issue she raised was the bias against creativity. Using multiple sources of empirical data she was able to show that as a culture we are ingrained with the idea that creativity is non conformity and we will ultimately reject creativity. Even when creativity is the ultimatley goal, people often will reject creative ideas. One interesting data point that she used to illustrate this effect was a study done on teachers and their preference toward students that did exactly what was asked of them rather than those that came up with creative solutions. This example showed how our culture is creating a bias towards creativity even at a young age. Her potential solution was to move toward a model of better communicating our ideas rather than coming up with more ideas. Here final issue that she discussed was the diversity debt that exists within our organizations. One point that I though was significant was the idea of moving away from the mono culture. Her point was that in the early stages of business we often hire those that are most similar to us in order to preserve vision. But as companies grow there is empirical data that proves that diverse groups are better at generating ideas. For these same reasons we look to the outside of our internal teams for new ideas and will typically weight them higher due to the diversity of outside teams.
Valerie's presentation was extremely well articulated and provided a clear message that we may want to consider moving away from making other design thinkers in favor of a model that moves towards an acceptance of culture. This is a very powerful transition that addresses some issues that have been raised with the evolution of design thinking. Design lives in a unique realm and we may want to understand how we can allow others to accept the culture that currently exists rather than trying to mold others into the culture.
That wraps it up for day one speakers. I will cover some of the break out sessions in future posts outlining some more thought provoking questions to consider. Stay tuned for day two tomorrow!