Managing complexity is one of the greatest opportunities of our time. Design thinking can create clarity and understanding of this complexity, and fuel innovation. But you have to be willing to go out, find great ideas, try new things, and sometimes, fall flat on your face. Design is a tool to create something new, not just improve on an existing model. Albert Einstein hits the nail right on the head when he stated "We cannot solve a problem with the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Design thinking requires you to think and act like an entrepreneur by finding a need in the market and creating a product to satisfy that need. This type of thinking requires you to translate a need or desire of the customer into a business proposition, then turn the proposition into a product / service for the customer.
According to Nine Sigma 80% of big companies plan to increase innovation budgets in 2015 http://www.ninesigma.com/blog/bloinc/2014/12/the-results-are-in-findings-from-a-new-survey-on-innovation and the designers / engineers / innovators that embed design thinking into their practice will be the ones to capitalize on this opportunity. To truly innovate you have to create a hypothesis based on what you see, not just customer feedback, because sometimes customers don't know what they want. Henry Ford said it best: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” [Henry Ford]
For a more detailed, but simple explanation of design thinking check out the video below: