Category Archives: *Event

Ingredients for innovation: simple tools and exploratory behavior

Matt Kingdon gave a speech on the topic of design innovation at the Dong-A Business Form 2014. I was invited to moderate his speech by Jinseo Cho, a staff reporter of the Dong-A Business Review (DBR) and editorial director of the Harvard Business Review Korea (HBR korea). Matt is the founder of ?Whatif! innovation and has over 20 years of innovation consulting experience. He proposed that innovation is not the addition but the multiplication of four “i”s – identify, insight, idea, and implement. Put differently, Innovation cannot happen when any one of four “i” is missing, highlighting the equal importance of every aspect of innovation from research to ideation to execution.

20141203_Dong-A Business Forum(14)

He further emphasized in his speech that innovation needs simple tools and exploratory behaviors. First, he introduced tools such as “customer shoes” and “rope of scope.” Although these tools sounds simple, they enable managers to take the perspective of customers (customer shoes) and to prioritize needs and ideas instantly (rope of scope or simply placing needs/ideas inside or out of the rope). Managers use these tools not only to identify customers’ deeply rooted needs and address them effectively.

Then, he suggested that innovation needs the behaviors that promote exploration such as courageous curiosity or “Greenhousing.” Managers should be brave enough to pursue their curiosity and, more importantly, they should nurture immature ideas into commercially appealing innovative solutions.

His speech reminded me of David Kelley’s conversation with Roger Martin. Last year, David said, in order to generate wild ideas, people should have confidence about their own creativity (creative confidence) and then need a series of safe, small successes (guided mastery). Similarly, Matt highlighted courageous curiosity and greenhousing. To me, the most powerful insight from his speech is that innovation needs simple tools rather than a rigid process; innovators need rooms to improvise.

Jan Chipchase @ Seoul

Jan Chipchase


Hidden in plain sightSpeech at Seoul by Jan Chipchase (Executive Creative Director of Global Insights at Frog, Author of Hidden in Plain Sight)

Title: “Leap of Faith”

Synopsis:  “Drawing on over a decade working for Fortune 500 and Korean clients Jan’s talk will explore the use of real-world insights to inform and inspire design, strategy, challenge minds and flutter hearts. The talk will cover a sample project all the way through to cutting edge techniques in obtaining insight and discuss why sometimes, against the better judgement of the organization it requires a leap of faith.”

Time: October 28, 2013 (Mon) 4-6PM

Place: Conference Hall, Administration Building, Kookmin University




관찰의 힘얀 칩체이스 서울 강연 (프로그 디자인, 크리에이티브 디렉터 / 관찰의 힘, 저자)

제목: 믿음의 도약

시놉시스: 얀 칩체이스는 지난 10년동안 포춘 500대 기업과 한국 기업들을 대상으로 프로젝트를 수행하면서, 현실 세계에서 발굴한 인사이트가 디자인과 전략을 개선하고, 틀에 갇힌 사람들의 생각에 도전하며, 심지어는 사람의 마음을 움직일 수도 있다는 점을 보여주었습니다. 본 강연에서는, 기존에 수행한 프로젝트 뿐만 아니라 인사이트 발굴에 사용되는 기법들도 함께 선보일 예정이며, 다양한 사례와 기법들을 통하여 언제, 왜 데이터에 기반한 판단보다 믿음이 조직의 발전에 도움이 되는지 논의하려고 합니다.

시간: 2013년 10월 28일 (월) 오후 4-6시

장소: 국민대학교 본부관 학술대회장

참고 1) 동아비즈니스리뷰 인터뷰 (201308): “르완디 시장조사때 밀수꾼 인터뷰… 극단적 아웃라이어는 통찰의 보고”

참고 2) 조선일보 인터뷰 (20131008): “제품 기능에만 치중하면 실패… 소비자 깊숙한 내면적 욕망 읽어야”



Welcome Jan! On Oct 28, 2013, he gave a speech at Kookmin University, Seoul. He shared with the attendants his unique perspective and rich insights as an Executive Creative Director of Global Insights at Frog and author of Hidden in Plain Sight. In total, 280 people showed up. This event was run by Ran Yoon who is working at the product development team, SK Telecom, and used to work at the marketing team, Samsung Electronics Canada. One of the attendants, Jaeyong Yi, the president of PXD, a Korean design consulting agency, wrote his review in Korean language.


Jan Chipchase @ Kookmin University

Jan Chipchase

Young Members Event, ICED 2013 @ Seoul

ICED13_Young Members Event

The Design Society and the Organizing Committee of ICED13 invite young design researchers and designers, including design students, to participate in this discussion on the future of design and to join the networking of international young design community. Please send an email to with your name, affiliation and contact information by August 16th (Friday) to join this free of charge special event. For more information, please visit ICED13 website,, or send your inquires to the Creative Design Institute,

World’s Best Design Schools @ BusinessWeek

I served as a panelist for 2009 Business Week’s World’s Best Design Schools (see the panelists). You can find which schools are selected here.

World Best Design Schools


How to Nurture Future Leaders

By Venessa Wong on September 30, 2009

Design thinking brings creative techniques to business. The only problem? No one can agree on how to teach its methods

It’s a scary time to be a new graduate. But some seem more optimistic than others.

Around the world, graduates are emerging from interdisciplinary master’s programs that integrate design, technology, and business. These professionals are trained in “design thinking.” Sure, it’s the latest trendy term to sweep the business world, but it’s a technique that designers and executives alike hope may help to provide a solution to some of the world’s serious challenges.

The only problem? There’s no consensus on how to teach it. And there’s no agreement on where these thinkers should spring from. Should design schools create more business-focused creatives, or should business schools foster creative thinking in their MBAs? For now, both approaches to innovating education are rolling out, and both types of programs appear on the 2009 BusinessWeek D-school List.

Different Programs, Different Results

As departments build on their unique strengths to formulate new programs, varied results have emerged. Some programs are co-taught by professors from design, business, and other departments, such as at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ( Others, such as a partnership between three schools in Helsinki, bring together students from various universities for cross-disciplinary project work. Another approach: dual degrees in business administration and design, such as the MBA and Master’s in Design program from Illinois Institute of Technology.

Despite the different approaches, the programs have a similar aim: to merge design, business, and technology. Professors urge students to value cross-disciplinary teamwork, to defy inclinations and shatter silos. The theory: Working across functions will offer fresh perspectives on perennial problems and generate more comprehensive and original results. The goal is to combine creative confidence and analytic ability, says David Kelley, founder of Stanford’s and design consultancy IDEO. “The best students are competent in both.”

It’s still early days, and the chasm between business and design yawns. Closer cooperation is necessary. Designers who exhibit business acumen can be involved at a more strategic level within a corporation. Executives who learn to apply design methods such as prototyping or brainstorming have a better shot at building a corporate culture that nurtures innovation—and the business’ bottom line.

What to Expect?

According to Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and one of the early supporters of the discipline, “Every corporation needs a design-thinking type.” That includes industries that may seem like unlikely bedfellows for design, such as banks and law firms.

Visa (V) launched the Global Innovation Strategy Group in September 2008 to align corporate strategy with consumer needs. “As great as an MBA is, we were looking for something more,” says Scott Sanchez, senior business leader for the group. Earlier in 2009, Sanchez hired Laura Jones, 27, a recent graduate from Stanford’s program.

And a number of corporations such as Procter & Gamble (PG), Samsung, and Steelcase (SCS) are beginning to integrate design thinking and its proponents across operations. Harley-Davidson (HOG) has hired graduates from Northwestern University’s joint MBA and Master’s in Engineering Management program into its Leadership Development Program and gradually promoted them to all levels of management—from product development and marketing to finance and global manufacturing strategy, says Matt Levatich, president and chief operating officer.

Designer-Led Backlash

And yet, as design thinking moves to the front burner as an innovation tool of choice, questions remain about how its theories can slot into the framework of the business world. Jones is quick to detail that not all of her classmates have found jobs that call for design thinking. Not all corporations know what it is or how to apply it. “It is a work in progress,” she says.

Some designers also balk at the concept, seeing it as a dilution of an industry and discipline they themselves have studied so hard and for so long. “If you teach design thinking, you’re teaching talking: how to use words to describe design,” says Dev Patnaik, founder and chief executive of San Mateo (Calif.)-based design and innovation consultancy Jump Associates. Patnaik says he looks to hire designers and then trains them in business skills as necessary.

Gadi Amit, founder of San Francisco-based NewDeal Design, also has reservations. “Some people think they graduate with industrial design plus capabilities,” he says. Instead, he says, the graduates lack grounding. Nonetheless, Amit acknowledges things may yet evolve. “I am not precluding that maybe there will be a new type of designer, splitting the profession into all sorts of strands and directions, but we are not there yet.”

At this stage, the true impact of design thinking has yet to be seen in industry, as classes are small and graduates are a mere drop in the ocean of global business. But educators, executives, and public officials around the world are investing in the potential of the technique to provide new insight and enhance innovation in a time that desperately needs both. We may not truly appreciate the fruits of these educational experiments for some time, but if effective, these graduates might just redefine the way the world does business.