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Agile Innovation: The Complementarity of Design Thinking and Lean Startup

Agile Innovation: The Complementarity of Design Thinking and Lean Startup
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Author(s): Ulrich Lichtenthaler (ISM International School of Management, Cologne, Germany)
Copyright: 2020
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Pages: 11
Source title: International Journal of Service Science, Management, Engineering, and Technology (IJSSMET)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ahmad Taher Azar (Prince Sultan University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabi and Benha University, Egypt) and Ghazy Assassa (Benha University, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSSMET.2020010110

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Abstract

In light of digital transformation and a stronger application of artificial intelligence, many firms try to increase the agility of their innovation processes. In this regard, they particularly rely on design thinking or on the lean startup approach to reduce some of the deficits of established innovation processes, such as the stage-gate model. This conceptual article shows that merely focusing on design thinking and lean startup in isolation will not enable companies to fully leverage the benefits of agile innovation. Because of the complementarity of design thinking and lean startup, executives should simultaneously pursue these approaches in order to achieve results that are more than the sum of isolated design thinking or isolated lean startup initiatives. This complementarity derives from the specific benefits of design thinking in the front end of the innovation process combined with the particular benefits of lean startup in the back end.

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