A very short blog post on where people go wrong with design thinking
I'd have to say one of the biggest missteps people do in ideation and design thinking is when they are making personas. Both marketers and customers are guilty of this: Assuming personas based on who they imagine their customers to be and not doing it through primary research or having the wherewithal and discipline to be free of those assumptions during primary research is killing any potential benefits you do intense consumer journey mapping and value chain analysis.
People with great social empathy help; the ones who can place culture in context. Often they have a humanities background. Best person I know for gleaning personas had an English Literature background.... Use ethnographic interviews but be prepared to personalize for each client. And never dive into even a project without knowing the digital transformation strategy of your client. If they and the whole world is changing why should you be aiming at a stationary target in the past?