Design innovation only occurs by understanding and anticipating the needs of your users and creating successful products or services that fulfil their desires. This in turn creates competitive advantage for your organisation.
We're not trying to create jargon, though for the moment, design thinking best describes a specific approach to innovation. It is an approach largely ignored by business professionals, educators, and even many designers. It isn't the exclusive realm of designers but a necessary skill that anyone can and should learn to achieve successful innovation.
Though anyone can and should engage in design thinking, there will be a time when you engage in design practice. Typically design practice begins when it is time to make ideas tangible. This could be a concept drawing, or a rough prototype of an idea. You may want an expert on sustainability to consult how the materials, processing and useful life of your product or service will do the least harm to the environment.