Design Thinking: A New Approach to the Fuzzy Front End of Product Innovation
Chicago GSB Innovation Roundtable
September 14, 2006, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Learn how and why Design Thinking can be used to tame the fuzzy front-end of product development. Our speaker Jeremy Alexis will focus on the skills, tools, and process steps of this approach including examples to demonstrate the application of Design Thinking in a corporate setting. Learn more.
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM: Sign-up and registration
Atul Setlur, '04
The stage gate process can be credited with increasing the efficiency of product development over the past 15 years. However, the effectiveness of this approach is ultimately its undoing. Now that most companies have adopted this business process (which increases the speed that a company can take advantage of a market opportunity), there are fewer market opportunities available.
A new approach is needed for companies that want to increase the value of their innovation efforts. But, firms do not need to dismantle their entire product development enterprise, which has taken years to develop and may still be efficient at implementing offerings. The solution requires companies to re-think how they deal with the “fuzzy front-end” of development, which has often been the most difficult stage to manage, measure, and value. Design Thinking offers a unique approach for this stage that generates proprietary insights about your stakeholders, defines a set of concepts that will create value for your organization, and offers a smooth hand off to the existing development process.
Jeremy Alexis is an Assistant Professor at the IIT Institute of Design. He works with graduate students and corporate partners to define the strategic value of design as well as the role of design in business strategy. He has developed a framework for the successful application of design methods, skills, and thinking to business problems related to competitiveness and organic growth.
Jeremy has been on the faculty of the Institute of Design for six years. Previously, he worked in consulting, leading interdisciplinary teams tasked with defining next generation products, services, and business models. He has worked with clients such as Unilever, Motorola, Citibank, Pfizer, American Express, Target Corporation, and Zebra Technologies.