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Tools and recommendations

From the HPI: Design Thinking Live – Christoph Meinel, Ulrich Weinberg, Timm Krohn (Ed.)

In Design Thinking Live friends and partners of HPI Academy und HPI School of Design Thinking share their experiences with the innovation approach. Contributors from research and industry worldwide as well as D-School alumni report on how Design Thinking is applied in practice and why real innovation is easier and more successful with Design Thinking.

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Design Thinking Classics: The Achievement Habit - Bernard Roth

Bernie Roth draws from his decades of experience at Stanford University – from being a well-known Professor of Engineering with a focus on Robotics and Kinematics to his current tenure as Academic Director of the d.school – to bring to life this informative and practice-oriented look at Design Thinking as a personal empowerment tool. The book offers the reader many practical exercises that have been inspired by and drawn from the Design Thinking approach and courses of the D-School.

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The Design of Business – Roger Martin

Roger Martin provides an extensive look into a business world that is facing wicked problems, far too complex to address with only an analytical or only an intuitive way of thinking. It needs a combination of both thinking modes, which Martin refers to as Design Thinking. He delivers a well-chosen set of case studies from companies that successfully managed to tackle single problems with Design Thinking.

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Design Thinking Deep Dive: Exposing the Magic of Design – Jon Kolko

Interaction Designer Jon Kolko delivers a good introduction to the topic of synthesis. Oftentimes considered to be the most difficult part of Design Thinking, design synthesis requires intuitive and analytical skills in order to make sense out of raw and mysterious data. Each attempt to tackle a design problem starts with its understanding from a designer’s perspective. Thanks to Kolko, we gained a better understanding of the methods and theory of synthesis.

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Creative Confidence – David & Tom Kelley

The book features a "best of" of Stanford innovation stories that you've probably heard of if you are familiar with the work of the d.school. Derived from these stories, the Kelleys provide structured lists of small things you can do to start innovation work in your organization that are in my opinion particularly suitable for people who work in a corporate environment. Alltogether, this is not a book on innovation tools, but an entertaining pep talk from two Design Thinking pioneers. Read it if you're new to Design Thinking and planning to shake up your company or department with a fresh attitude.

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The Inmates are Running the Asylum – Alan Cooper

Why we love this book:

Alan Cooper is the founder of California-based Cooper Design and an outstanding creative mind (e.g. developer of Visual Basic). He is also a witty and smart writer, using metaphors and vivid examples to illustrate the impact of bad design decisions and how to overcome cognitive friction. In his book, Cooper introduces the concept of personas as a crucial part of every design process.

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Serious Play: How the World's Best Companies Simulate to Innovate - Michael Schrage

Prototyping may be the most intuitive aspect in Design Thinking, nevertheless its huge potential is only partly visible to most practitioners. Michael Schrage has extensively observed and reflected on how companies develop and play with prototypes and models in order to innovate. His book is one of the all-time favorites for both designers and business practitioners. For those of us who operate at the interface of both professions, it is simply a must-read.

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Prototyping Card Set

The prototyping card set is a useful collection of 36 different prototyping methods. The card set was created within the HPI Stanford Design Thinking Research Program and is exclusively available from HPI Academy.

Price: 49, - EUR (excl. shipping)

orders via amazon

Design Thinking & Organisations: Network Thinking - Ulrich Weinberg (Ed.)

You are looking for a metaphor describing the paradigm shift from analog to digital world? Take a look at your bookshelf! The author uses the centuries-old encyclopedia, the famous German „Brockhaus“, as a thinking model of the analog 20th century and, on the other hand, uses the network as the thinking model for the digital 21st century. Learn how board members of global corporations are reshaping their organization, teachers are rebuilding their education and how Network Thinking can also be personally useful to you.

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Teams & Organisations: Managing the Unexpected – Karl Weick

In the past decades, Karl Weick defined some of the most prominent concepts in organizational research, namely the concept of sense-making and loose couplings. In this book he delivers a groundbreaking perspective on so-called high reliability organizations such as nuclear power plants. These organizations deliver working environments that foster individual and team mindfulness in every aspect of work. Many of the described principles of mindful teams are characteristic of Design Thinking teams as well. It is an inspiring glimpse inton how teams can perform, as soon as their managers enable them to do so.

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Design Thinking Research - Hasso Plattner, Christoph Meinel, Larry Leifer (Ed.)

Within the Design Thinking Research Program (DTRP), researchers from Stanford University and HPI strive to apply rigorous academic methods to understand how and why Design Thinking innovation works and fails. The research results from the different DTRP projects are annually published in the Springer volume “Understanding Innovation”. The reader gains insights into the latest scientific findings about factors of success, tools and methods of Design Thinking. More information about the DTRP.

Study on the success of Design Thinking

In the business sector, Design Thinking has developed from a creative technique into a driver of corporate change. This is one of the main results of the first large-scale scientific study on the effect of Design Thinking in daily work. Researchers of the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Program found that companies and organizations are using this innovation concept in an even more extensive and diverse way than was previously thought. 

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The Upside of Messiness: Clumsy Solutions for Wicked Problems - Steven Ney and Marco Verweij

In the past three decades, organizational studies have generated an impressive body of literature about how best to deal with complex and uncertain – or ‘wicked’ – policy problems. Each of these approaches aims to activate and mobilize the plurality of opinion and knowledge that wicked problems give rise to. However, contending methods go about this in different ways. Relying on Mary Douglas’ cultural theory, this article (a digest of a longer piece that you can find here (external link)) outlines a method of evaluating and predicting the likelihood that any given approach will successfully tackle wicked policy challenges. More information and purchase (external link to Harvard Business Review).