© 2019

Putting Design Thinking to Work

How Large Organizations Can Embrace Messy Institutions to Tackle Wicked Problems


Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Steven Ney, Christoph Meinel
    Pages 1-19
  3. Steven Ney, Christoph Meinel
    Pages 21-42
  4. Steven Ney, Christoph Meinel
    Pages 43-72
  5. Steven Ney, Christoph Meinel
    Pages 73-91
  6. Steven Ney, Christoph Meinel
    Pages 113-145
  7. Steven Ney, Christoph Meinel
    Pages 147-167
  8. Steven Ney, Christoph Meinel
    Pages 169-192

About this book


This book discusses how the methods and mindsets of design thinking empower large organizations to create groundbreaking innovations. Arguing that innovations must effectively tackle so-called “wicked problems,” it shows how design thinking enables managers and innovators to create the organizational spaces and practices needed for breakthrough innovations. Design thinking equips actors with the tools and methods for harnessing the creative tensions inherent in pluralist, often conflicting disciplinary approaches. This, however, requires the transformation of contemporary organizational cultures away from monolithic, integrated models (or identities) toward more pluralist, dynamic and flexible institutional identities. Based on real-world cases from a wide range of organizations around the globe, the book offers managers and innovators practical guidance on initiating and managing the cultural transformations required for effective innovation.


Design Thinking Cultural transformation in large organizations Ambidextrous organizations Design leadership Tackling wicked problems Organizational cultures Dynamic institutional identities Flexible institutional identities Effective innovation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.T-Systems InternationalBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Hasso Plattner InstituteUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

About the authors

Steven Ney completed his doctorate in the policy sciences at the Department of Comparative Politics in the University of Bergen, Norway. Trained as a policy analyst at the University of London, Steven Ney has worked on a wide range of policy issues in a number of research institutes including the LOS Center in Bergen, ICCR in Vienna and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg. After spending four years from 2005 as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Singapore Management University, Steven Ney took up the Chair of Social Entrepreneurship at Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany, in August 2009. Starting as a researcher of environmental issues, particularly climate change, Steven Ney has developed an interest in analyzing the way societies deal with complex and uncertain policy changes. Recently he has concentrated on social innovation and social entrepreneurship as a means of bringing about institutional change. From 2014 to 2018 Steven Ney designed, implemented and managed professional and executive education formats at the HPI Academy and HPI School of Design Thinking in Potsdam. In particular, he was responsible for managing the Certification Programme for Design-Thinking coaches. Since November 2018, Steven Ney develops co-creation and co-innovation workshops for T-Systems International.

Prof. Dr. sc. nat. Dr.rer.nat. Christoph Meinel (1954) is President and CEO of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering gGmbH (HPI) and Dean of the Digital Engineering Faculty of the University of Potsdam. He is C4-professor for computer science and heads the department for Internet Technologies and Systems. Beside others Meinel is member of acatech, the National German Academy of Science and Engineering, and visiting professor in various national and international universities. He developed the first European MOOC-platform openHPI, heads the Schul-Cloud project of the Federal German Ministry of Education and Sciences, and is program director of the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Program.

Bibliographic information

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