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Ideo Shopping Cart Project

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IDEO Shopping Cart Project

Nandini Gumlapuram

Westcliff University

BUS 540: Organizational Behavior

David Johnson, Ph.D.

July 28, 2019


IDEO Shopping Cart Project

This paper focuses on various factors and attributes which organizations from today’s era can encompass on the basis on “IDEO shopping cart video”.  The video throws light on how

An individual behavior and processes within a team bring together to create great innovation in IDEO. It also discusses different techniques and methods used by IDEO to make working environment creative and innovative for all. It also describes on how design thinking can pave path to organizational success and innovation at the same time.

IDEO is one of the most successful product design companies in the world located in Palo Alto, California which started in 1991. This organization created by David Kelley is renowned for its innovation, creativity and systematic approach to developing products that includes creating Apple’s first mouse, high-technology medical equipment, and sunglasses for Nike, Design Education. David Kelly wanted to demonstrate the company’s process of innovation and design thinking as an episode of ABC’s late-night news show “Nightline” by creating a new shopping cart concept that worked on tackling issues such as mobility, user shopping experience, operational & maintainenace cost, user and children safety. The video threw light on design process where a multidisciplinary team used different design thinking innovative tools like brainstorming, researching, prototyping, and user feedback mapping leading to a design from hundreds of ideas depicted a working model in five days.

Attributes of IDEO’s Innovation

        IDEO shopping cart project depicts that an organization cannot lead its path to innovation and growth itself. But, it is the employees with the combined attributes of Design thinking tools, Working environment, team building, rapid prototyping, effective brainstorming, well-honed product development process, creativity that drive an organization in the direction of innovation.

Design Thinking

IDEO uses a Design thinking oriented 5 steps process that enables teams to identify opportunities for innovations – Think, observe and learn detailed necessity of customers and reason of building the product, Translate research insights into opportunities for design, create visually worthwhile and tangible experiences, prototype, evaluate and define and finally implement. The video showed very clearly how design thinking can be practically implemented in the industry.

Their Design thinking does not depend upon any management feedback, but rather on human –centered discovery process. Instead of constraining designers to a series of steps for design, IDEO designs within spaces: Inspiration, ideation and implementation (Brown, 2012)

Embracing Failure

The beliefs based on which IDEO was built, never allowed it to be afraid to showcase ABC Nightline viewers IDEO’s failed products or ventures because failure was not considered a setback at IDEO, instead it was considered a door to open new horizons. IDEO embraces failure by imbibing it within its organization culture. It is clearly visible during the video shoot that the amount of freedom given the employees reduces any form of fear resulting failure. IDEO negates the idea of perfection and encourages innovation which is exhibited everywhere in the video from brainstorming sessions to user mapping designs. The openness during brainstorming sessions to allow designers focus less on quality and produce large archive of creative and innovative ideas.

Organization culture

The lack of hierarchy and management in IDEO is what makes it so much more effective and successful. Equality among employees provides opportunity among multi-disciplinary teams to showcase their ideas and work together without any fear of superiority and subjugation of ideas.

It is very evident from the video that a senior executive in IDEO is chosen not on the basis of seniority but on the ability to work with cross-functional teams. Teams are selected for the project include people from diversified backgrounds such as technology, business, psychology, biology, design etc. Employees enjoy a title-free environment and there are no fixed assignment for each of them. Employees have a playful environment with a freedom to creative and constructive chaos leading to crazy and vivid ideas. It can be observed through the video that IDEO has been an innovation enabler and creativity generator for its employees which is very different from the other traditionally running corporate environments.  

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