Mindshare: Igniting Creativity and Innovation Through Design Intelligence by Nikos Acuña presents a deeper than average perspective on design thinking and innovation. I wouldn't make this my first book on the topics, but certainly my second.

Design thinking means to use human-centered design techniques (similar to an architect or other physical object designer) to attack all kinds of problems. The basics of design thinking are (Drawing from FastCompany):

  1. Define the problem - watch the people who have the problem
  2. Create and consider many options - often using brainstorming
  3. Refine selected directions - often through fast prototyping
  4. Repeat 2 & 3
  5. Execute and gather feedback

Tim Brown, CEO and President of IDEO, one of the most famous design companies and tightly tied to Stanford's, provides on-going high-level comments on design thinking and innovation. When you want to go deeper on a topic, turn to Mindshare.

Acuña draws on examples from IDEO and TED, but pushes the ideas by looking at the philosophy, history, and psychology underlying the examples. As a result, my suggestion is to start this book in the middle. Assuming you have the basics down, perhaps from Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, then turn to sections of Mindshare that sing out to you.

The Intelligence of Design

Chapter Four, The Intelligence of Design, was the chapter that sung to me. Here, Acuña describes the organizational mechanisms that can help to turn ideas into action, fulfilling the promise set in Chapter One. There he offers that authentic leadership can ignite movements that create products that are alive, and so achieve mindshare in today's cluttered world. Chapter Four lays out how this can happen and paves the way for the application ideas that follow.

This is the New Yorker, thoughtful, version of design thinking.