What’s it like to Innovate

AmCham Vietnam


Business Chamber


Design Thinking Training


In this rapidly-changing world, leaders of all types of organisations – startups, corporations, not-for-profits, government agencies – are becoming increasingly aware about the importance of innovation.

Many will undoubtedly discover that, contrary to popular belief, innovation isn’t about waiting around for a ‘flash of inspiration’ to strike. Far from it! To successfully innovate, teams from within organisations first need to get in the right mindset. From there, they need to align their thoughts, collaborate, stir their imaginations and visualise ideas to hit upon the right innovative solution.

How We Helped

To help you and your team better understand how Doodle Design helps organizations reframe and ideate problems, in this article, we invite you to imagine a step by step ‘Design Thinking Learning’ journey ran by Chris Elkin, Founder, Doodle Design and his team.

This method uses three different kinds of post-it notes: Pink (Rose) symbolises “what’s working”; Thorns (Blue) symbolise “what’s not working”; and Buds (Green) symbolise “what can be improved”. In their own time, your team writes down as many observations as possible on each note using the sharpie pen. The question they’re answering is: “What are the main challenges and opportunities we are facing at work?”

The Rose. Thorn. Bud method has generated loads of inputs which can now be grouped and re-arranged into different ‘clusters’ according to certain themes and patterns that emerge. Each cluster is given a title and an insight drawn out of it to inspire future ideation.

Now it’s time to frame the right problem. By asking the powerful “How might we….” question, Chris gets your team to identify the key issues as well as important insights to build on. By asking you to make the question ’emotional’, use ‘metaphors’, apply ‘comparisons, and other tools, Chris helps your team make this exercise more exciting and the statement more impactful and inviting to all involved to solve the problem at hand.

Now it’s time to move on to ideation and envisioning future possibilities to solving problems. Chris asks your team to create a Concept Poster – a highly visual and structured method that will help you come up with and promote future solutions amongst your peers. This group exercise invites participants to get immersed in the answers to key questions: “What is the big idea?’ “Who is it for?”; “What problem does it solve?”, “What does success look like?” “How might it fail?” “What do we need to protoype and test” By working together in teams, the Concept Poster is the result of a close collaboration, imaginative ideas and openness, encouraging stakeholders to provide feedback and make the ideas stronger. Now you’re really getting into the mindset of an innovator!

Now comes the fun part: Voting. It is not like other voting methods. This vote is highly visual and non-biased. Each person is given one pink and two green tabs to vote for one ‘best overall idea’ and two ‘best details’. By giving your team time to study the ideas in advance, and by voting at the same time, the results of the votes are neutral so nobody (no matter who they are – junior or senior!) in the room influences the direction and decision of others. Now, your team has the most preferred ideas to move forward with and act on.

“The workshop was an incredible energizing and inspiring session and we look forward to finding ways to use the approach with the team and board.”
Mary Tarnowka
Executive Director, AmCham Vietnam
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