Design Thinking and Innovation at IDEO

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG252 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Product Design
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2000-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : IDEO Inc
Industry : Consultancy - Design
Countries : US


IDEO is a design consultancy firm based in California, US with offices across the globe. Design consultancy firms are usually associated with product design and most of their clients included auto, electronics, and other manufacturing industries.

IDEO had developed an innovative business model that could be used to design or redesign products as well as services to provide more value to the end user. It developed a design process where they used techniques like brain storming, body storming, prototyping, and testing to arrive at a solution for the clients' problems.

IDEO actively involved their clients in the design process and willingly taught them how to develop an innovative culture in their organizations unlike other consultancy firms which did not usually reveal their approach towards designing a solution. IDEO had an employee friendly work culture with no hierarchy and used the concept of hot-teams. It encouraged teams to help each other in designing innovative solutions and strongly recommended using techniques like cross pollination.


Understand how to foster innovation in an organization.
Examine the organization structures that work for creative organizations.
Study the framework for designing innovative solutions.
Analyze the scope of work for design consultancy firms.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Design Thinking 4
Design Process at IDEO 5
Innovation at IDEO 7
Strengths of IDEO 9
Exhibits 11


IDEO Inc, Design Thinking, Problem Solving, Human-centered Innovation, SparkAwards, Design Consultancy, Open Source Innovation, Organizational Structure, Culture of Innovation, Product Development, Product Design, Method Cards, Brainstorming, Prototyping, Innovation Bias

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