Creative therapies in Business and Innovation

Dixita Patel
5 min readMay 20, 2021



In the last blog (Injecting service design capabilities into business innovation.), I reasoned out my choice of topic for the major project unit. To give you a little recap on a higher level, How can Service design contribute to Business and innovation and a few potential areas of interest being -

Ups-killing — the new form of business innovation

Understanding post-pandemic business model

Business model innovation for circular economy

Through this blog, I would like to talk about the methodology that I plan to follow to achieve an outcome.

Since then, I have been reading up on innovation and what role can a designer play in this field. I realized that Business innovation affects many different parts of the society, culture, environment using technology, services, products, or processes. As a designer, it is my responsibility to resolve collective problems in a sustainable and efficient way, usually with new processes.

Known Methodologies

I studied speculative design methodology and its application in the last unit. For me, it was a perfect combination of design thinking and storytelling to build fictional artifacts for a preferable future world. Design thinking is more about problem-solving in today's world. Speculative is about reframing our perspective of the future to reveal alternate possible futures and unseen trajectories of cultural, technological, environmental, socio-political trends. The reason I like the combo of both is that one of the areas I would like to explore is New business model post-pandemic and looking the uncertainty, I think this methodology fits in perfectly to think about personal (how people live and work) to the professional (how companies interact with their customers, how customers choose and purchase products and services, how supply chains deliver them).

The what-if methodology helped find new paradigms in potential future awaiting configuration by today’s choices.

Next to this, I am also very familiar with the Double Diamond Design Methodology by the design council. The main feature of the Double Diamond is its emphasis on the “divergent” and “convergent thinking”, where first many ideas are created, before refining and narrowing down to the best idea. This is happening twice in this model — once to confirm the problem definition and once to create the solution. Since I am still on my journey to identify a problem and develop a research question, I think this methodology suits the timeframe and my mindset. Having said that I will still explore and fall upon my learnings from other processes and methodologies.

Yet to explore methodology

Lastly, my tutor introduced me to a few other design methodologies, including design praxiology: the study of the practices and processes of design (process) by Cross N fits better for my major project. Because in my understanding business innovation comes with a change in process and existing practices followed by Design epistemology: the study of designerly ways of knowing (people) — understanding how people can adapt to the changes.


Apart from the common design thinking tools like storytelling, persona building, Journey mapping, I would also like to explore some new tools which help understand innovation one of them being the 3 horizon model by McKinsey

The 3 horizons model is a growth strategy framework that you can use to think about the future of your company. It can help you manage growth in a coordinated way.

The model described innovation occurring on three-time horizons:

  • Horizon 1 ideas provide continuous innovation to a company’s existing business model and core capabilities in the short term.
  • Horizon 2 ideas extend a company’s existing business model and core capabilities to new customers, markets, or targets.
  • Horizon 3 is the creation of new capabilities and new business to take advantage of or respond to disruptive opportunities or to counter disruption.

In my understanding, this model goes well for long-term innovation and disruptive innovations like Uber, Tesla, or Airbnb. However, The Three Horizons model is still very useful as a shorthand for prioritizing innovation initiatives.

Role of a designer in the business.

Do businesses truly have an understanding of what it means to innovate, Is there a recipe? What role can I play?

When the time came to chose the squad(area of interest), I was a little hesitant in the beginning as I am a UX designer where I learned problem-solving using the human-centric approach, I am now studying Service design where I am currently learning systems design and solving problems at a systemic level and planning for a major project in Business. This step is kind of exciting and terrifying at the same time. Exciting because I have always wanted to explore this field and innovations come with the design. Terrifying because I am still new to this and still trying to figure out my way ahead.

Designer roles have been evolving tremendously, particularly as Design Thinking has become a crucial component in defining the success of many organizations. Design as a field is shifting its perspectives with the merger of different disciplines, such as Psychology, Industrial Design, Branding, Research, Graphic Design, and the list goes on and on. Another important discipline that is slowly recognizing the importance of design is Business. As a successful designer, it's important to understand the motives of users and the business.

I have always been a designer or linked to some kind of creative field, thinking about business and its functioning on a literal basis gets difficult for me as my designer mind always and always takes an empathy-first approach. However, change in processes to build efficiency has also been my area of interest, and hence finding a sweet spot between the two is my motto.


Design Council. 2021. What is the framework for innovation? Design Council’s evolved Double Diamond. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 20 May 2021]. 2021. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 20 May 2021].

Harvard Business Review. 2021. McKinsey’s Three Horizons Model Defined Innovation for Years. Here’s Why It No Longer Applies.. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 20 May 2021].