It’s a given that the award-winning design firm IDEO utilizes prototyping in their quest to fulfill a client’s request for a better shopping cart or when creating the mouse for Apple.
But how does this help when innovation isn’t a daily ritual? And what if your organization doesn’t make things, but provides a service? And what if your organization is a church?
Quick prototyping is about acting before you’ve got all the answers, about taking chances, stumbling a little, but then making it right.
Prototyping is a state of mind.
In the book “The Art of Innovation, IDEO general manager Tim Kelley outlines some of the key principles of prototyping the firm has developed over the years:
- Build to learn – when a project is complex, prototyping is a way of making progress when problems seem insurmountable
- Make your luck – once you start prototyping, you begin to open up new possibilities of discovery
- Prototypes beat pictures – living, moving prototypes can help shape your ideas
- Bit by bit – don’t go for the touchdown all in one play; work on your project in stages, getting approval and/or revisions done in steps. Keep the momentum going
- Shoot the bad ideas first – don’t stop when you’re stuck; prototyping even an unworkable solution often generates new ideas
A playful, iterative approach to problems is one of the foundations of the creative culture at IDEO. It can be at your organization, too.
So, what are you going to prototype today?