I was intrigued by the concept of team design thinking while reading “Team Design Thinking, Product Innovativeness, and the Moderating Role of Problem Unfamiliarity,” published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management earlier this year. In this article, the authors reference the formal stage-gate technique commonly used in the NPD process, an approach introduced in my Product and Brand Management MBA course. Although stability is a strength of this standardized routine, the article points out the associated negative implications on innovation. However, it is suggested that taking a team design thinking approach, which involves the principles of user empathy, collaborative abduction, iteration, and collaborative representation, can combat both routine and cognitive inertia. Ultimately, this may lead to increased product utility as well as increased product novelty when there is low problem unfamiliarity.
What are your thoughts on team design thinking?