Design thinking Business Innovation

Every book has its own story, and this one – Design Thinking Business Innovation – is no different.

About the book’s history

The book you are holding in your hands is a collaborative effort by MJV Tecnologia e Inovação, consultants on innovation.
MJV is a traditional IT company that, following the need to evolve and reinvent itself, has made innovation its touchstone.

In 2008, while engaged in a mobility project for electronic management that – as stipulated by the funder (FINEP / MCT1) – had to be innovative in nature, we settled on Design Thinking as the only structured process in the world for such an approach.

As we turned up case after case of international success, our response became one of love at first sight. Here was the way to break through the linear logic in the mindset of science, engineering and systematic management. It would be our mountain guide, or Sherpa, on an unknown path as yet untouched by the logic we all cherish so dearly.

Since then (2008), we’ve been learning, practicing, serving our clients and, with them, we’ve accumulated the experience that we’re translating into this book.

Brazilian companies, like companies all over the world, feel threatened by rapid change in the field of technology with the resulting impacts on society and the market. And so most of them wait for change to become more intelligible before acting. Innovating is always risky, and it is not easy to anticipate results precisely. Change always poses a threat. Many companies, and even entire industries, fall prey to surprise attacks by newcomers, new products and business models. So innovating may be risky, but not innovating is also risky.

What can you do?

In a scene from Lawrence of Arabia, the hero and his companion are sitting on a sand dune in the desert when they see a moving black spot in the distance, unable to discern what it is. Not knowing what to do, they wait to see what this moving object could be. Gradually the spot becomes an animal in motion, then a camel, then finally, a camel with a man riding on it. They are caught completely off guard as the man takes out a gun and kills Lawrence’s companion.
Their mistake was to wait and see what the threat might be. Any other move would have been better. Running away, firing a warning shot into the air, taking cover or anything else at all would have been better.
In the same way, companies cannot sit still waiting until it is time to innovate. They can’t wait to get ready for unexpected competition, for the consumer to change, for new ways of organizing, for new meanings to be assigned to their services or products.
Marketing research as it is defined will not reveal these threats – though if it does identify them, the standard business solutions areof little help.

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What is Design Thinking

Design Thinking brings a holistic vision to innovation. It works with multidisciplinary teams that follow a process, understanding consumers, employees and suppliers as they are in their own context, co-creating solutions with experts, prototyping in order to better understand their needs. A Design Thinking team will end up generating new solutions that tend to be innovative and quite unexpected.


In Design Thinking, art is combined with science and technology to find new business solutions. Video, theater, visual displays, metaphors and music combine with statistics, spreadsheets, and management models to address the most intractable business problems and spark innovation.
In other countries, Design Thinking is gradually taking hold in MBA programs at major universities, and being adopted by international companies as yet another tool for executives. Among the universities that have included Design Thinking in their curricula are Stanford, Berkeley, Northwestern, Harvard, MIT and others.

Design Thinking and Brazil

In Brazil, we are pioneers in creating a business consultancy based on Design Thinking, and although this effort is still in its infancy, we have already begun to see acceptance of this new approach among big companies. The problems to be addressed vary a great deal, ranging from translating insurance jargon to establishing a process of innovation within an IT department; from developing products and services that will enable patients with chronic diseases to take better
care of themselves, to initiating change management in an ERP2 implementation; from designing innovative services for first-time flyers, to redefining the meaning of life insurance; and so on.

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In Brazil, all that is available in the way of literature on this subjectadds up to a few books translated into Portuguese concerned with international cases. This book is meant to fill the gap with a text written by Brazilians who have international training in the field, and will draw upon local cases to teach its methods in detail.
Our book is addressed to professionals in all areas of business. Through it, we intend to cover both the genesis of innovation, as well methods and practices for its implementation. The latter is at least as important as the innovation itself, if not more so.

We hope this book will encourage Brazilian companies to create their own prototyping labs and business innovation departments, and to introduce Design Thinking as standard management practice.
Finally, as a vital acknowledgment, we would like to thank the financial support that FINEP – an agency of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology – has granted MJV, which has enabled us to make the investments that have culminated in the writing of this book. We are indebted to FINEP for its support of our first steps on the path of innovation that have given us our impetus and direction as a company.
In the past two years, our clients have granted us the opportunity to develop new solutions with them, while we have also learned a great deal from their executives about the environment of their businesses where innovation can take root. We wish to express our appreciation to all of them, and especially the following companies: Mapfre, Banco Itaú, Bradesco Seguros, Icatu Seguros, Duty Free Dufry, Mongeral Aegon, Mills Estruturas e Serviços de Engenharia, among many others.
Last but not least, we wish to thank all of our consultants and colleagues who have made this journey with us, contributing countless hours of work and, above all, their knowledge and enthusiasm. This book contains a little bit of each one of them.
And so, dear reader, we deliver this book to you, created with deep feeling and with the hope of making a significant contribution to our country.

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Maurício Vianna
Ysmar Vianna
Executive board of MJV Tecnologia e Inovação

Source: preface from the book

Design Thinking The Book
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