At the dschool, I heard about the book Wired to Care by Dev Patnaik, CEO of Jump Associates and professor at Stanford. The book focused on the subject of empathy, which is the first (and perhaps most difficult and critical) of the five steps of the design thinking process.
I found the book enjoyable and easy to read, and I liked its many examples and stories of individuals at companies finding empathy with others. I found myself wanting more specific advice from the book on techniques for more effective empathy interviewing and observation, as well as how to turn those observations into ideas, how to best document them, and how to best communicate them with others. The book stayed too high level for me, even though it was interesting and well written.
My biggest takeaway is that empathy and a deep connection with customers can make even "uninteresting" products strike a chord, and it can motivate people to work their hardest because they have a deeper goal in mind. I also think the lesson of "the map is not the territory" is very powerful and a great reminder of the importance of seeing things first-hand and doing your own thinking rather than just relying on second-hand information.
Part 1 the case for empathy
Ch 1 intro
Ch 4 creating affinity
Ch 8 reframe