1. What isIDEO good at?IDEO is an international design consulting firm whereit designs a variety of things and mostly the approach of innovations worksvery well, ranging from designing the first manufacturable mouse for Apple,high technology medical equipment to a squeezy toothbrush.
Each year, IDEOproduces about 90 new products. To achieve this, IDEO is not expert in a givenarea or product but focusing on the process of innovation and ways to apply theinnovation steps to design new stuff. It uses technology resources, strategyand marketing driven innovation combined with research and design to create newproducts. IDEO promotes design thinking concept which is a human-centeredapproach to innovation and always designing solutions based on human desirabilitycombining together with what is technologically and economically feasible.On top of that, they recruit expertise from differentareas to boost innovative ideas from different perspectives while keeping anequalization among people, regardless of age, organizational or educationallevel. It encourages an open-minded discussion and demand for fresh ideas tohelp innovation takes place which resulting from a fun and joyful workplace.
Thishealthy working environment not only motivates the employees and hire greatstaffs but likewise rises the connections to new work. 3. What is theculture like in IDEO?To be the top innovative design firm, IDEO practicesan open mind where designers accept ideas and comments when doing a brainstormand deep dives. They defer judgement, practice one conversation at a time andtry to build up ideas of others in order to get the best design. Wild ideas arealways welcomed in IDEO in order to produce innovative designs. On top of that,IDEO’s culture of helping is well-known as the organization and leaders believethat helpfulness does ease in solving the complex problem.
It could producebetter results for customers as well as provide an attractive workingenvironment if the employees engaged in mutual help. Apart from that, IDEO encourages equalization amongpeople regardless of organizational and educational level. Voting and decisionmaking on the designs are done by the entire team instead of the project leaderas the leader is not always right and has the greatest knowledge on theproject. They work as a team and emphasize on collaboration.
In order to always stay on the right path, IDEO’sdesigners always stay focus on the topic and clear of the end users’ needs andbehaviour. It is common to encounter failure during the designing stage but thekey is to learn from failure. Furthermore, IDEO develop a sense of trust to itsemployees where employees are having the freedom to do anything to getinformation from the end users and innovative ideas instead of only staying inthe office. Plus, a playful and fun environment is set up in the office inorder to make creative employees more productive. 4. How is thecompany structured? Basically, IDEO holds an un-structured approach wherethere is no corporate hierarchy and no management structure.
This employeeempowerment promotes a new way to enhance creativity and productivity of theemployees. Employees are free to choose whether or not to attend meeting orwork and can tell the CEO about their thinking and ideas. In fact, thisunstructured practice promotes a great impact on product innovation andemployees are happy and free to think creatively. Somehow, this approach onlyfits self-motivated people as it allows them to do more spectacular things.Thus, IDEO takes hiring very seriously. Within this structure, there are studios where eachand every studio is lead by a project manager. Project managers are in charge ofdeciding the future of the product and less on the managerial work.
Anyhow, theproject leader is not a permanent title and the position rotates based on one’sskills and availability related to the project. Apart fromthat, IDEO allows employees to switch job scopes or locations. This is able toavoid boredom of employees on similar projects and they tend to be moreinnovative designers as they are exposed to different cultures, languages andways of living.