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Designing creativity tools to support business innovation.

Malins, Julian; Grant, Graham


Julian Malins

Graham Grant


There are a wide range of approaches and organizations, which have the common aim of supporting SMEŸs to deliver new products and services. This paper examines the various approaches which have been taken and in particular describes the work of The Centre for Design & Innovation (, Aberdeen, which has been established to provide innovation support for small to medium sized companies in Scotland. The centre has adopted a user-centered approach that encourages companies to consider their core values, identify opportunities based on their customers needs and encourage new thinking based on a re-evaluation of the companyŸs innovation culture. This paper examines the philosophical basis for the development of the new centre and subsequent methodology that has been adopted. It also describes a number of resources that have been developed to help SMEŸs with their innovation processes. This is based on a user-centered, ethnographical strategy. Serious play is used to help companies shift their perspective which in turn leads to new insights. Recognition of the barriers to creative thinking enables companies to develop an innovation culture that promotes continuous innovation and development. Prototyping methods are described that help companies develop and evaluate concepts and encourage co-design and interdisciplinary working.


MALINS, J. and GRANT, E. 2010. Designing creativity tools to support business innovation. In Proceedings of the 1st DESIRE Network conference on creativity and innovation in design (DESIRE'10), 16-17 August 2010, Aarhus, Denmark. Lancaster: DESIRE Network [online], pages 181-188. Available from:

Conference Name 1st DESIRE Network conference on creativity and innovation in design (DESIRE'10)
Start Date Aug 16, 2010
End Date Aug 17, 2010
Acceptance Date Aug 31, 2010
Online Publication Date Aug 31, 2010
Publication Date Dec 31, 2008
Deposit Date May 13, 2011
Publicly Available Date May 13, 2011
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery
Pages 181-188
Keywords Creativity; Design thinking; Service design; Serious play; Service TRIZ
Public URL
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