This book has been work in progress for years, but it also wraps up two decades of experience and reflections, countless discussions with colleagues in Denmark and abroad, and my very own points of view, which have been either sharpened or moderated as I slowly challenged my own knowledge of innovation processes. Many people have contributed greatly to the confidence needed to embark upon writing a book. I want to mention a few, and in particular, my colleagues at the European project European House of Design Management, a project with a slightly different focus than my book, but which builds upon the same understanding of design thinking. Perhaps without knowing it, Floor Herman, Andy Cripps, and Michael Thomson have been instrumental to the final result. So have three design professionals in Denmark – all with different approaches to the material, but with deep knowledge of design and innovation – by taking time to read and comment on the first draft of the book. It wouldn’t have been the same without invaluable input from Judi Olsen, Steen Jauer, and Karen Blincoe. Moreover, I want to mention DJØF’s chief consultant, Carsten Nielsen1, who acted as a coeditor of the original, Danish edition of the book, thus saving me from building barriers instead of building bridges to some of the audiences the book was written for.
Finally, it only remains to hope that the INNOLITERACY model – and the insights and experiences it derives from – can act as an inspiration for decision makers with responsibility for the development of new (or improvement of already existing) products or services, processes, business models, or communication. User and other stakeholder engagement, co-creation, user-centered innovation, and service design are all slowly becoming well-known and well-tested approaches. The challenge that I have reacted to, reflected, and now acted upon is that there still seem to remain a number of barriers for lifting it all up onto a strategy level, where applying it becomes the rule, rather than the exception.
INNOLITERACY is a proposal for how that can be done and what it would take for an organization to truly embrace and benefit from it, and even more importantly, what it would offer in terms of better results for the individual company or organization, and for all those for whom the products or services of those companies or organizations are of great importance.
1DJØF is the Danish Association of Economic, Legal and Political Science Professionals