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Creating an operational structure to capture, manage, and, finally, develop innovation is a tricky goal. This expert warns that the set up needs to include more than just the design thinking and offers five reasons why.

Over the last couple of years, design thinking has become one of the most common innovation buzzwords, and therefore, has become seen as a panacea to "doing" innovation. The reality, though, is far from the truth.

Design thinking is a process that helps people find a solution to a customer problem. Customer empathy is at its core, and in an ideal world, the process leads to a solution that is desirable (to customers), feasible (to build) and viable (financially) to create.

What design thinking won't give you or teach you are all the other ingredients necessary for a successful innovation program. Here are some specific things that you still need to think about if you are investing in innovation within your organization.

Design thinking won't create a culture for innovation.
While a decent design thinking training program should leave people feeling energized, if you haven't created a culture where innovation thrives, any kind of training will soon be forgotten.

Take time to understand the most important drivers of an innovation culture, which include elements such as cohesion between staff, the debate of different ideas and perspectives being encouraged, and failure not being seen as a dirty word.

Design thinking won't provide you with time and a budget.
No matter which innovation methodology you adopt, you are going to need to have a plan of how you attach resources to innovation. This includes both time and money.

Many organizations make the mistake of announcing they are "doing" design thinking, but then fail to carve out time in people's weeks for them to work on innovation projects. Likewise, leaders may talk about design thinking, but unless there is a budget dedicated to it, nothing will happen.

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