Design thinking does not guarantee innovation.
It’s a process structured to get you thinking in a different way; to get your siloed teams to think differently together; to focus on your customer or whatever human you’re serving with your product/service; to get you out of your stale comfort zone; to get a fresh perspective on your business; to put existing parts of your business into new strategic combinations.
All that may result in innovation, but only when you put down the resources and commit to bringing your validated ideas to market. That requires lots of hard work by multiple teams in your organization. That’s innovation.
And yet, what Design Thinking does guarantee is a path to innovation; the first few well-travelled bricks on the yellow brick road in the right direction. It’s a guaranteed way to connect you to your customers (or whoever your product/service serves). And, it’s definitely a tool to rewire your brain and your company’s DNA in the process to become more human-centered in your decisions.
Viewing the method of Design Thinking as one that guarantees innovation will leave you disappointed. You’ll miss the journey in the way to your destination. And, the journey here matters a lot.