Designing creativity tools to support business innovation.
Malins, Julian Paul
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There are a wide range of approaches and organizations, which have the common aim of supporting SME‟s to deliver new products and services. This paper examines the various approaches which have been taken and in particular describes the work of The Centre for Design & Innovation (www.c4di.org.uk), Aberdeen, which has been established to provide innovation support for small to medium sized companies in Scotland. The centre has adopted a user-centered approach that encourages companies to consider their core values, identify opportunities based on their customers needs and encourage new thinking based on a re-evaluation of the company‟s innovation culture. This paper examines the philosophical basis for the development of the new centre and subsequent methodology that has been adopted. It also describes a number of resources that have been developed to help SME‟s with their innovation processes. This is based on a user-centered, ethnographical strategy. Serious play is used to help companies shift their perspective which in turn leads to new insights. Recognition of the barriers to creative thinking enables companies to develop an innovation culture that promotes continuous innovation and development. Prototyping methods are described that help companies develop and evaluate concepts and encourage co-design and interdisciplinary working.