What is Dual Thinking

Dual Thinking is a research-based approach to innovation. This new innovation process integrates the passion of the developer, the needs and wants of users, and the possibilities of technology to find creative solutions.



Why We Need a New Approach to Innovation

Today, employee experience is as crucial as user experience. Unlike former generations, millennials search for meaning. Especially when it comes to innovation, meaning and passion are driving forces. Therefore, the new IQudo® Dual Thinking Innovation Process focuses on empathy AND passion to not only please users but as well the guys who do the hard work.

The idea behind Dual Thinking is to think like a start-up entrepreneur while working within a large organization. Dual Thinking fosters intrapreneurship.

The Research behind Dual Thinking

Over a period of 6 years, we interviewed over 2.000 people in Germany and the United States about what drives their creativity on the job. The stunning results have been published among others in Harvard Business Manager (01/2016).

In our latest IQudo Ideation Survey (2016) we cooperated with the renowned KIT-EnTechnon in Karlsruhe and the automotive corporation Daimler AG. In particular with their R&D department – the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center (MTC).

Within his master thesis at the KIT-Entechnon, Tobias Kind found that a whopping 37 percent of the 152 engineers at the MTC had their best ideas on the job. That means, one in three engineers do get their best Ideas on the Job. In our previous Ideation Study 2015 in New York and San Francisco, we had found that only one in six survey respondents get their best ideas on the job.

People having their best ideas at work

56 engineers

Group B / Job-Inspired

People NOT having their best ideas at work

96 Engineers
Group A / Job-Uninspired

Key Findings of our Research

We found that PASSION is the #1 reason for on-the-job creativity. More than half of the 56 respondents (55.2%) cited "love for the job" as the number one reason for their on-the-job creativity. What further drove the resourcefulness of the MTC-engineers was the inspiration between the co-workers (51.7%), plus the fact that creativity was required (50.0).

Surprisingly, for most of the job inspired at the MTC, time plays a minor role; "Time to ponder" came in sixth place only (10.3). (Multiple answers possible.)

The survey results show that for innovation to thrive leaders need to ignite the passion within their employees. They should dig deep into what motivates their employees to go to work every day, provide a compelling vision, foster collaborative relationships and demand creativity.







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    The Evolution of Dual Thinking

    We have identified three main types of innovation approaches:

    Innovation out of Passion seeks the solution to a problem in the wants of the developer. At the center of this approach is self-realization. Over the last century, innovation has always been driven by passion. Thomas Edison for instance, was intrinsically motivated to discover the new. Criticism: in the digital age, this self-centered focus is prone to not meeting the needs of users.

    Design Thinking provides a solution through observing the user. How a person is using a product or service, is fundamental. The key characteristic is Empathy. Great examples for Design Thinking are websites like Airbnb or Amazon. Criticism: This one-sided focus on the user carries with it the danger of not following one's own desire to search and experiment.

    Dual Thinking seeks a solution based on the developer's desires as well as the wants and needs of the user. Dual Thinking combines two characteristics: Passion and Empathy. A great idea is to be found in the space between the developer and the user. A good example of Dual Thinking is the vacuum cleaner from Dyson. James Dyson revolutionized its technology just because he wasn't satisfied with existing vacuum cleaners and increased the user experience by offering an easy to handle cleaner. This two-sided approach fosters job- and customer satisfaction.


    Dual Thinking from a Creative's Perspective

    Robert Gerlach, Creativity Coach, Author and Developer of Dual Thinking

    When I was working in creative industries, I almost always had to follow the client's wishes. Hardly anyone was interested in what I wanted. I had to deliver, period. As stress was high and happy hormones were low, I eventually lost my mojo. I remember once I had to work for the Rolling Stones. My job was to create a print campaign for a Telecom company who sponsored them. My first thought: this is the chance of a lifetime! But after a while, I figured out that my freedom to create was close to zero. In hindsight, it wasn't such a great working experience. On the other hand, whenever someone trusted in my creativity, I was happy as I possibly could be and driven to deliver great work.

    Today, I believe there are two sides that should be considered when it comes to creating. The client's and the developer's view. That's why I invented the Dual Thinking Innovation Process. The idea behind: a great idea is to be found in the space between the client and the creator. If both wants and needs are met, both of them are happy and love to continue working with each other. It's like in any relationship, isn't it?

    Robert Gerlach

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