Innovation has never been as important as it is now, with a market full of asymmetrical competitors and disrupters none innovative enterprises face extinction. innovation has become too important to be considered an organization pastime that employees do in their free time and after they are done with their daily tasks and so many attempts have been made to structure and formalize the innovation process, turning it from a serendipitous hit or miss act to a more structured reliable repeatable business process. Design Thinking has been around since the 60s yet it has been gaining prominence lately with the formalization of innovation trends, organizations such as Procter & Gamble and Pepsi have adopted this methodology and used it to drive innovation internally.
Design Thinking methodology has a broad implementation spectrum, with its design subject ranging from packaging and merchandise to much less tangible such as user experience and business processes.
In enterprises innovation is usually conducted through experimentation, controlled divergent or convergent experiments based on the limitations of the organization with carefully assessed predefined metrics, this analytical sterile nature of experimentation allows for slow progressive improvement of the products but breakthroughs nature do not fit this approach. Design thinking on the other hand is a bridge between intuitive thinking and analytical thinking, it relies on emotions as much as it relies on numbers and completely overlooks the inherited limitations of the current capabilities, what really sets Design Thinking apart though is how it is human centric starting with empathy and including rapid prototyping and experimentation to validate innovative ideas.
For every 1 percent of sales invested in design, profit rose 3 to 4 percent for five years. 
One of the ways to implement design thinking is through the 5 Stage-Process proposed by Stanford’s d.School, the process is iterative and includes the following stages: Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. These steps are non-linear and can be iterated over and over again until a refined acceptable product is produced, For instance you can jump back from the Test Phase to the Define phase to understand why the produced prototype was the correct solution for the problem, alternatively you can jump forward from the Empathise phase to the Prototype phase directly skipping both the define and ideate steps.
Design Thinking is a human centric methodology and hence it starts with empathy, this allows the designer to get a deeper more personal insight of the problem at hand, this phase include coming up with the personas and understanding their experience and their world view.
In this phase the problem gets defined as a problem statement in a human-centric manner, this requires some discipline and builds on the first stage for instance rather than defining a design problem as : “reducing water wastage in residential accounts” it should be defined as “Residential water consumers should be equipped with the tools and information to reduce their water consumption”. This phase results in phase 3 Ideate.
In this phase a potential solution is proposed, there are several techniques to achieve that such as Brainwrite, brainstorm and worst possible idea. The main idea here is not to be limited by the organizations limitations and capabilities.
A cheap easy to build prototype is produced in this phase, this prototype should include the essence of the idea and be possible to reproduce at scale. This phase also provides a reality check to the process as limitations and capabilities are explored in this stage.
Once the prototype is produced produced it should be tested by a sample representing the target user. The prototype can be refined and retested until satisfying results are reached.
This 5 stages approach is flexible and can be tailored to fit the problem at hand, the approach can vary based on the setting and the organization as well given how some organizations are more forgiving and failure tolerant than others.
 Howkins, John (2003). The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas. The Penguin Press. pp. 121–122.
 Herbert Simon, Sciences of the Artificial (3rd Edition), 1996: https://monoskop.org/images/9/9c/Simon_Herbert_A_The_Sciences_of_the_Artificial_3rd_ed.pdf