New global study: How design thinking changes the culture of innovation in companies …

HPI Hasso Plattner Institute

Potsdam (ots)

For more than two decades, the successful innovation approach Design Thinking has been an integral part of the world of work. Many managers, employees and coaches have come into contact with this approach, which is so versatile and applicable across industries. But how has innovation-driven design thinking changed over the years, and is it reaching its limits? A new international study, created by the “Design Thinking and Innovation Research” department at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), now shows what approaches are now needed to further develop the innovation approach. For one thing is certain: Design Thinking is a vibrant innovation culture, a vibrant mindset – and much more than just a method case full of techniques.

Stefanie Gerken, Lab Designer & Facilitator at Deloitte Greenhouse and Design Thinking Track Lead at HPI School of Design Thinking (D-School), and Falk Uebernickel, Professor of Design Thinking & Innovation Research at HPI, with moderator Leon Stebe on their new study with the title “Design Thinking: a Global Study on Implementation Practices in Organizations”. They analyze the development and changes in design thinking practices in organizations and compare the current results with the older study “Parts without a whole” from 2015 to derive development trends.

Companies of all sizes from different countries participated in the survey. The study results show that design thinking is still growing exponentially in its use in companies. Only the way one looks at design thinking has changed since 2015, the two experts emphasize. “In the past, many saw design thinking in a very technical way as a kind of recipe for success, if the recipe steps had to be followed and adhered to precisely,” says Uebernickel. Today, design thinking is seen more as a mindset that gives people space to interpret and reinvent. However, the core principles of design thinking have remained the same: user-centricity, willingness to experiment, interdisciplinary teams, prototyping, and the courage to fail. “Openness to new things, as well as making mistakes, is part of the deal if you want to break new ground,” Gerken emphasizes.

The challenge in the future will continue to be to implement design thinking among employees and managers who are generally accustomed to working more traditionally and hierarchically. Design thinking has great potential for the success of the company and offers a more flexible way of working in the event of unexpected events. “We generally need to move away from sticking strictly to our plans – this inflexibility is simply no longer up to date,” Gerken said. Because although the introduction and practice of an innovative corporate culture is challenging, design thinking promises enormous innovation potential.

Well-founded knowledge of the digital world, explained clearly and understandably – it offers the knowledge podcast “Neuland” with experts from the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) at:, on iTunes and Spotify. Once a month on Neuland, they talk about current and socially relevant digital topics, their research work and the opportunities and challenges of digital trends and developments.

About HPI School of Design Thinking

The HPI School of Design Thinking ( was founded by Hasso Plattner in Potsdam in 2007 based on the model from Stanford and has since become the European Competence Center for Education developed in the field of design thinking. The HPI D school offers 300 places a year for an additional course in the innovation approach. In small, interdisciplinary teams, students from a wide range of disciplines develop innovative and people-centered solutions to complex practical problems. They are in close contact with project partners from companies, NGOs and political institutions. As the initiator of the Global Design Thinking Alliance (GDTA), HPI D-School promotes exchanges between design thinking schools in Egypt, the USA and South Africa, among others.

Short profile of the Hasso Plattner Institute

The Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) in Potsdam is Germany’s university center for expertise in digital technology ( With the bachelor’s degree “IT Systems Engineering”, the joint digital engineering faculty of HPI and the University of Potsdam offers a Germany-wide unique and particularly practical engineering-computer science education, which is currently used by about 700 students. In the five master’s programs “IT Systems Engineering”, “Digital Health”, “Data Engineering”, “Cybersecurity” and “Software Systems Engineering”, you can set your own research priorities based on this. HPI always occupies top positions on CHE’s university rankings. The HPI School of Design Thinking, Europe’s first innovation school for students based on the Stanford model, offers 300 places for further study each year. There are currently 22 professors and more than 50 visiting professors, lecturers and lecturers at HPI. It conducts excellent university research – in its IT departments, but also in the HPI Research School for PhD students with its research departments in Cape Town, Irvine, Haifa and Nanjing. HPI teaching and research focuses on the basics and applications of large, highly complex and networked IT systems. In addition, development and research of user-oriented innovations for all areas of life.

Press contact:
Christiane Rosenbach, Tel. 0331 5509-119,
and Carina Kretzschmar-Weidmann, tel. 0331 5509-177,

Original content from: HPI Hasso Plattner Institute, broadcast by news aktuell

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