12th of April, MTA Community had the chance to visit one of the most innovative companies in the world (Fast Company’s Top Ten in Design): IDEO.
IDEO (pronounced “eye-dee-oh”) is an award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow.
According to their web, IDEO shares that they identify new ways to serve and support people by uncovering latent needs, behaviors, and desires. Adding to that, they envision new companies and brands and design the products, services, spaces, and interactive experiences that bring them to life. At its core, they help organizations build creative culture and the internal systems required to sustain innovation and launch new ventures.
The visit estarted with Akkua and taEZBAez hosted by Dan and Deuce respectively and MINN and Learning Expedition visit was hosted by Alex Castellarnau, originally from Andorra but nowadays working for IDEO in the headquarters of Palo Alto. All of them were fantastic hosts, who shared with us what IDEO is, the path it has followed since it was founded in 1991 and the current reality. One of the things that I liked most was IDEO’s approach to co-create with customers. With the current reality, IDEO’s sales are going like a rocket, they don´t really need to make the effort to makes sales since the phone is constantly ringing. But he shared that they don´t work for a customer, but they work with them. So in that sense if the customers does not have time to work on this, IDEO won´t accept the project.
As the tour continued there were 2 things that really inspired me. Henna asked to Alex: ” so how do you see the future of IDEO within the next 10-15 years”. Alex’s personal vision (not necessarily company’s one) was that IDEO could be working as Venture Talentist. Inspired by the concept of Venture Capitalists, where investors invest money in different startups, IDEO could be doing the same through investing their talent and expertise by spending more time working closer with the customers.
Last but not least, Alex shared that companies should aim to Innovate to Die. This concept might sound quite radical but his explanation was that companies should be the platforms where the employees are able to grow so much during the time they work there that after some 2 years they should be able to create their own companies.
After the visit we met up with the CEO of IDEO Tim Brown (link to TED talks) and Tom Kelley, General Manager (David Kelley’s, founder of IDEO, brother), they signed their books Change By Design and Tean Faces for Innovation for Mondragon Team Academy.