David Kelley of IDEO talks “design thinking” on 60 Minutes

Posted by:

What makes a great designer? According to IDEO founder David Kelley, who gave the TED Talks “Human-centered design” and “How to build your creative confidence,” being an incredible designer isn’t necessarily about having a great aesthetic sensibility or coming up with out-of-the-box ideas. No,  Kelley says that the key characteristic is empathy.

“Be empathetic,” Kelley tells Charlie Rose in an episode of 60 Minutes to air this Sunday. “Try to understand what people really value.”

Kelley has been on teams that created many game-changing products, from the first Apple computer mouse to the stand-up toothpaste tube to the “lavatory occupied” sign on airplanes. And on 60 Minutes, Kelley takes Rose on a tour of IDEO and shares his unique approach to what he calls “design thinking.”

He explains, “The big thing about design thinking is it allows people to build on the ideas of others. Instead of just having that one thread. You think about it, I come up with an idea, and then somebody from somewhere else says, ‘Oh that makes me think we should do this and then we could do that.’ And then you get to a place that you just can’t get to in one mind.”

To see some of his IDEO’s latest innovations, including a rethinking of the classic school desk, watch the preview above. And make sure to catch this episode of 60 Minutes on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 7p.m. ET/PT. When the 60 Minutes segment becomes available online, we’ll share the link here.