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April 17, 2014

Colorado Innov conference: George Kembel, co-founder of Stanford d.school

by Dan Rodriguez

We’re all products of the industrial era.  Groomed to solve problems we know the answer to.  Challenge now:  we’re in an environment where we don’t know how to lead our way to uncertain outcomes.

“The cost of planning now exceeds the cost of experimentation.”  In an environment increasingly complex, this doesn’t work.  When you get your plan, it is either wrong or irrelevant.  (DBR:  but this depends on the structure and function of the plan.  Counsels way of planning, not eschewing of planning).

d.school:  Responds to the idea that everything is a creative act.  We don’t nurture the creative potential of all our students.  d.school started in order to respond to this process of problem-solving.  Introduce students to a creative problem and give them an opportunity to practice on these messy problems.

If we want a game-changer, you can’t predict innovation.  You should need a fundamentally different approach to the problem.  Don’t solve the wrong problem!

How?  Empathy.  Understand human elements of the problem before you get to addressing design problem.  Next, undertake very rapid process of experimentation.

Empathy — Define — Ideate — Prototype — Test  (DBR:  need to assess the costs of failure.  What are the practical risks of ideation and prototyping?)

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