16 DARDEN IDEAS TO ACTION
THE PROFITABLE PROMISE OF DESIGN THINKING
Jeanne Liedtka, United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration at Darden, is co-author with Andrew King and Kevin Bennett of the book Solving Problems With Design Thinking: Ten Stories of What Works (Columbia University Press, 2013) and coauthor with Tim Ogilvie of Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers (Columbia University Press, 2011).
Jeanne Liedtka believes you’re much more creative than you think. Your workplace may be keeping you down. “Many businesses drive out a lot of creativity,” she says. Big businesses can be the worst offenders, demanding a level of predictability and efficiency that is good for today’s bottom line but bad for tomorrow’s. So managers charged with growing the business must still live and die by traditional data, by ROI and by only a dutiful nod to the customer, who is often seen primarily as a sales target. The pressure to grow is relentless, but the battle is often uninspired. Liedtka, a U.Va. Darden School of Business professor, teaches an unusual way of thinking that can spur inspiration and innovation even in the stiffest of workplaces. Dubbed “design thinking,” it’s simply a different approach to problem solving. “It’s really very helpful in becoming creative,” she says. “It brings tools
Faculty Research from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Spring 2014