Usually I am quite dreamy when it comes to reading or paying attention to things for long periods of time. This is because my mind starts flowing and thinks of other stuff when I am doing these things (triggered by the content so I am actually paying attention).  So I love doing it for the reason that it is very useful as a source of inspiration. Anyway, when I was reading Change by Design by Tim Brown, in the beginning, he explains the “three spaces of innovation” arguing that he does not have a specific step by step process or a recipe to success. In contrast, he argues, “to the champions of scientific management at the beginning of the last century, design thinkers know that there is no “one best way” to move through the process. There are useful starting points and helpful landmarks along the way, but the continuum of innovation is best thought of as a system of overlapping spaces, rather than a sequence of orderly steps. We can think of them as inspiration, the problem or opportunity that motivates the search for solutions; ideation, the process of generating, developing, and testing ideas; and implementation, the path that leads from the project room to the market. Project may loop back through these spaces more than once as the team refines its ideas and explore new directions” (Brown 2009).

Inspired by this section of his book I started drawing what was going on in my head, putting all these concepts together in what I called Design Thinking, “The cloud of innovation”. This is because I think it has a structure but no boundaries whatsoever and was only to be able to visualize and understand in a better way. This structure is based on the basic process of design thinking starting with inspiration, ideation, prototyping, testing and therefore iterating, and its final implementation. Inside, it has a number of different projects with its useful starting points that Tim Brown was talking about and helpful landmarks that goes through an exploratory process. Along the way, many of these projects will fall out of the cloud, many will iterate to improve or change directions and many more will go through until reaching innovation. Finally, as this dense cloud generates action inside, it moves forward to success by achieving its goal which is to create value and be truly innovative.

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Comment by Felipe Gonzalez on August 30, 2012 at 15:38

Hi Dave,

It is a great feeling. I will follow your technique to look for new opportunities and open the gate to my idea/problem as well.

Thanks for your comment, will be very helpful for me and hopefully for others!

Comment by Dave Rothacker on August 29, 2012 at 13:45

Hey Felipe, I LOVE that dreamy phase! As you, I also allow my mind to wander when reading. I read with a handful of highlighters, pen, pencil and various notebook/journals. So I try to coral and capture any fleeting thoughts of significance...cause if I don't, they-be-gone. 

I do have one practice that's produced surprising results. Lets say I'm working on a problem or I want to expand on a particular idea, I frame a statement relating to it and plant it in my mind. Then I begin to read. I read two ways. I either turn on the learning jets or I read in a lighter manner. For this exercise I'm in light reading mode. This seems to work better when the subject that I am reading about differs from my idea/problem. While reading I slightly open the gate to my idea/problem. Sometimes a product of all this confluence occurs while I'm reading and I quickly make notes or the reading & idea/problems mesh in my subconscious and appear to me later. 


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