Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Design Thinking Super Links

Design Thinking Super Links
After putting out a bucket load of thinking around Design Thinking, I've had several requests to put all the links in one place… like a super links page.
So here goes...

The Book and Author

The Book: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

The Author: Roger Martin's Website:


The Twit Rapper Versions in 26 tweets

First Half

Second Half


The Movie


The Book Rapper Version



Review of The Design of Business


RAP1: The Business Paradox


RAP2: The Knowledge Funnel


RAP3: Opportunities


RAP4: Design Thinking


RAP5: The Reliability Bias


RAP6: Building Within


RAP7: Project Power


RAP8: Design Training


RAP9: Leading Design


RAP10: Designing Yourself


RAP11: Designing with Others


Book Rapper Context: For Future Sake!


Action Plan: Designing Your Future


Companion Pieces


Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage - includes all the RAPs

Bonus Bits

Top Seven Design Thinking Books


The Design Thinking Audit

The Design Thinking Audit handout from our Ideas Lunch


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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Design Thinking Organizational Audit

Design Thinking Organizational Audit
Are you ready for the future?
To find out if your organization has the right balance of Design Thinking rate yourself with these nine questions.

Colour in the circle of the response that best fits your view of your organization.

How does your organization rate?
1 How flexible are we? Are we highly prescriptive about how things get done? Or, does our culture allow multiple ways to achieve the same end?

2 How do we organize our work? Are the majority of tasks tied up in continuous work performed by the same person everyday? Or, a lot of shorter, highly focussed projects?

How visible is design in our organiza
tion? Is design missing in our organization? Or is it something that is championed as vital to our future?

How is our staff balance? Do w
e have an abundance of analytical people and few designers? Or do we have a good balance of designers and analytical people?

How do we reward
& provide incentives for our team? Is it based upon meeting reliability targets for sales or production? Or, do we promote & reward innovation and new ideas?

How do we select and approve new projects? Is it based on what has worked in the past? Or is it based on ‘w
hat could be’ in the future?

How do we genera
lly make our decisions? Do we rely on statistics, analysis and automated systems to decide? Or, are we open to subjective decisions?

What types of training do we provide for our teams? Is it mostly technical skills or more knowledge? Or, are we pro
viding training to promote creativity, innovation and design?

Who has the ultimate say in our organization? Is it the sales department? Production? Marketing? Or, is producing high-quality design the most important thing?


  • What did you notice about your responses?
  • What might you do differently?
Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage
Download the worksheet from our Ideas Lunch

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Twit Rapper: Design Advantage, The movie!

Twit Rapper: Design Advantage, The movie!
Here it is… our Twit Rapper video/slideshow summary of Book Rapper's Design Advantage and all derived from Roger Martin's The Design of Business.

This is our first Twit Rapper video.

Love to hear your thoughts on how we can improve it for future issues.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Twit Rapper: Design Advantage, Part 2

Twit Rapper: Design Advantage, Part 2

it Rapper: A Book Rapper Book Summary in 26 tweets… Numbered tweets, 1A= first book, tweet A. Read all 26!

e's the second half and remaining 13 tweets from Book Rapper's Design Advantage.

1N: Opportunity 1: Your business solves a problem. Change the way you solve this problem.

: Opportunity 2: Take the knowledge out of your employee’s heads and put it into a system for others to run.

: Abductive Logic asks ‘what could be’. Dilemma! Cannot prove or disprov
e a new idea in advance.

1Q: Design Thinking blends creativity and business. It relies on Abductive Logic. Crucial for optimal business performance.

: Employing Design Thin
king aims to offset the bias toward Reliability and make room for Valid alternatives

1S: Adding Design Thinking to organizations is like rebuilding a new house from the inside. It’s a cultural change.

: Continuous work is consistent. Design work is different work. Create projects to fuel collaboration and innovation.

: The best way to learn about Design Thinking is to do it. Design something, anything. Logo, holiday, wardrobe... Make design a habit.

: If leading for reliability is like training a dog, then leading designers may be closer to training a cat.

: To enhance your design impact, see the world differently. Core driver = create the future. See obstacles as opportunities.

1X: Knowing how to work with non-designer analyticals is crucial to designers who want to make an impact. Learn their language.

: WANT MORE? Get the complete Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage: http://www.BookRapper.com

1Z: Want even MORE? Buy Roger Martin’s book: The Design of Business. It’s designful!

  1. Visit TwitRapper.com
  2. Tweet with us http://twitter.com/twitrapper
  3. Read the Book Rapper Issue: www.bookrapper.com
  4. Read Roger Martin's The Design of Business

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Twit Rapper: Design Advantage

Twit Rapper: Design Advantage

Twit Rapper: A Book Rapper Book Summary in 26 tweets…
Numbered tweets, 1A= first book, tweet A. Read all 26!

Here's the first half or 13 tweets from Book Rapper's Design Advantage.

1A: Design Advantage: The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value. Derived from Roger Martin, The Design of Business.

: Speed RAP: Key to value creation lies in the development of knowledge. Solve problems. Turn them into business systems.

1C: The Big Idea: Design Thinking is the new competitive advantage. Think both analysis for efficiency AND creatively for innovation.

: Your Challenge: Add Design Thinking to your life and your organizational culture. Explore, experience and exercise design.

: Book Review: A business strategy book. Why Design Thinking is important. And a key model for making it happen

: Book Rapper Thinks: Roger Martin’s my new design hero! He’s put design back in the centre of business conversations!

: Business Paradox: Now or future? Be efficient to exploit now. Be innovative to explore the future. Exploirt both!

: Example: McDonalds is an efficient system – big scale, big $$$. Artist typically explores – small scale, small $$$.

: Move down the Knowledge Funnel: Mystery= solve a problem. Heuristic= rule of thumb. Algorithm= fixed formula

: Examples: Mystery= Artist, Scientist, Architect. Heuristic= Trainer, Lawyer, Sales. Algorithm= McDonalds, MLM, Software

: Solve a mystery. Use your new knowledge to create new opportunities for you to exploit.

: Turn your hunches into rules of thumb to create an innovative service business.

: Simply your rules of thumb and create specific step-by-steps for anyone to implement. eg software.

  1. See the video at TwitRapper.com
  2. Tweet with us http://twitter.com/twitrapper
  3. Read the Book Rapper Issue: www.bookrapper.com
  4. Read Roger Martin's The Design of Business

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 17

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 17 Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage

Top S
even Design Thinking Books
: Want to fill your brain with even MORE design thinking? Here's the books I've bought recently on Design Thinking.

Disclaimer: I've only fully read Roger Martin's T
he Design of Business so far…
Reviews will follow as I read the others...

(All Book Links non-affiliate links to Amazon)

1 Roger Martin: The Design of Business
Our Book Rapper issue was based on Roger's book. That's the best RAP we can give it. We only select 12 books a year so you know it's got to be good. Why do I like this one? It's based upon a powerful model: The Knowledge Funnel - as featured in our RAP.

2 Roger Martin: The Opposable Mind
Roger Martin’s previous book. It’s Design Thinking for the Individual.
Thanks to James Gillespie for putting me onto this one. Roger's terminology here is 'Integrative Thinking'. He's talking about the ability to deal with complexity rather than simple solutions. For me, as a designer this appealed because I felt it explained what I do relative to other smart people who come up with ideas and aren't designers.

3 Tim Brown: Change By Design
All that needs to be said here is: Tim Brown is the CEO and president of world renowned design business IDEO. Got it? He knows something, well, a lot about design and the business
of design. It is about Design Thinking and therefore about creative leaders having a blueprint for their organisational work.

4 Roberto Verganti: Design Driven Innovation
Four things made me buy this book. (1) Italian = Design. Excuse the stereotype and in this case it fit
s. Roberto is from the home of design in Milano. He comes from an innovation perspective rather than design. (2) The subtitle of the book: "Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean". For me it means the big has going to have a lot of big words in it. And, I like the idea of challenging 'what things mean'. (3) It's from Harvard Business Press. That's a reliable recommendation in my mind. (4) Also, I love the cover imagery. I would have made the planes fly left to right though!

5 Thomas Lockwood (Editor): Design Thinking
This one appeals because of
its diversity. 23 chapters from 23 different authors is going to give a widespread, far-flung and boundless view of design. It includes academics, business leaders and design thinkers. Be warned: the writing's small!

6 Marty Neumeier: The Designful Company
I love this book because of the way that it's designed! It's got big writing, plenty of pics and has some fun along the way. Marty's earlier books The Brand Gap and Zag are equally designful! It may not have the depth or rigour of the others on the list and Marty's well credentialled to write a great story. I want my next book to look like this one! So, buy it to read or as a model
for designing your own book.

7 Robert Brunner, Stewart Emery and Russ Hall
This book is simply and elegantly laid out too. Not as much fun as Marty's though. Robert Brunner is a partner at Pentagram - a world leader in design. He's worthy of your attention. This one is speaking about design, design-driven culture and design language. They just don't highlight the term 'design thinking'.

Any other books you'd add to this list? Love to hear your thoughts, experiences and suggestions.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 16

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 16
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

Companion Pieces

: Want to fill your brain with more great ideas? The obvious thing to do is buy a copy Roger Martin’s book
and read that - We only select 12 books a year so you know it’s good! And, here’s a couple of other resources to extend, enhance and enrich your learning.

The E-Myth
This small-business bible is all about turning your heuristic into an algorithm. In E-Myth speak it’s going from the technician to the business builder. Gerber outlines the systems you need to turn your small business into a money-making machine. Start here and then graduate to E-Myth Mastery.

E-Myth Book Summary from Superb Coaching - It's a great summary!

E-Myth Revisited on Amazon (non-affiliate link)

E-Myth Mastery on Amazon (non-affiliate link)

The Opposable Mind
Roger Martin’s previous book.
It’s Design Thinking for the Individual.

The Opposable Mind on Amazon (non-affiliate link)

How to Think Right
Another take on the design revolution. Pink highlights six modes of Right-Brain thinking for you to develop to stay ahead in the Conceptual Age. And, you guessed it, design is one of them!

Get the Book Rapper Issue How to Think Right
Derived from Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind on Amazon
(non-affiliate link)

Frog Power
If you’re serious about transforming your organization into a Design Thinking empire then you’ll need to clean out some cultural debris. This issue shows you how.

Get the Book Rapper Issue Frog Power

Derived from
Steve Saffron and Dave Logan's The Three Laws of Performance on Amazon (non-affiliate link)

Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 15

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 15
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

Action Plan : Designing Your Future

: Superficial Design makes no difference. It’s adornment, decoration and cosmetic. It’s like reading a book and doing nothing with it. Significant Design changes the world. It’s like reading a book, looking at the world anew and taking decisive action based on your new knowledge. That’s what this whole issue is about - creating new knowledge and putting it to good use. Are you Superficial or Significant? Here’s your chance to prove it...

1 What will Design Thinking add or solve for you and your organization?

2 What could you exploit, make more efficient or Convert to a step-by-step process?

3 What could you explore or innovate? What wicked problems can you attack?

4 Which of the four opportunities types will you pursue?

5 Who do you need to get on board to adopt Design Thinking?

6 What new design projects will you create? How will you manage continuous work?

7 How will you modify your leadership style to adopt Design Thinking?

8 When will you start Design Training? And, with Whom?

Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 14

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 14
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

Book Rapper Context : For Future Sake!

Our fearless leaders have proven not to be so fearless.
Their recent efforts in Copenhagen to create a compelling future for the planet came up stunningly short.

Hope was offered and then disappointingly frittered away.

As a designer, there was one thing visibly missing from the summit.
There was no Design Thinking.

Our leaders were bogged down by their reliability bias.

They were overburdened with the need to prove their decisions would work.

They were unable to collaborate because they were stuck in their own self-interest.

And, there was very little future vision on offer.

Are today’s politicans anti-designers?
Are they capable of leading the way?

We don’t need more science, more analysis or more rhetoric.

We need Design Thinking.
We need visions, plans, options, choices and strategies.

We need to stop talking about Climate Change.
That’s a given, the climate is always changing.
It’s time to start talking about Climate Design.
What do we want our climate to be like?
Let’s start that conversation.
Let’s set some desirable goals to achieve for everyone on the planet.

I’m not suggesting that we get an expert team of designers together to make choices for everyone else.
This is what is wrong with our political systems.
And, we don’t want to replace BIG Government with BIG Design.
The utopian visions of the Modern Movement proved this didn’t work.
Grand plans have a habit of becoming grand disasters.

What is needed is both local and global design.

Like a good corporation we need some big picture strategy.
And, we need to give the team on the ground the room to implement and innovate in their own way.
Owning their way is crucial.

This level of diversity is what makes the world so interesting.
Think Italy or France with it’s national flavours and distinct regional spiciness.

We need to infect our leaders with Design Thinking.
We need to infect everyone else with Design Thinking too.

The goal is to have conversations for the future.

The goal is to build a future that we all have a say in creating.

The goal is to have a future that is compelling, desirable and exciting for everyone on the planet.

The single best thing you can do to help is to develop your awareness and abilities as a designer.
The more of us thinking this way, the more choices we will all have.
Remember, it’s for your sake.
It’s for my sake.

And, it’s For Future Sake!

Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 13

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 13
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP11 : Designing With Others

: The second way to enhance your design skills is to manage the way you work with analytical non-
designers. Your best design ideas are worthless if you can’t communicate them effectively. Here’s five suggestions for working with non-designers.

1 Empathize
The different worldviews of the Analyticals and the Designers beg the need for empathy from both parties. Taking the time to get in touch with each other will make it easier to work together.

2 Speak

Designers and t
he non-designer Analyticals speak a different language. One wants certainty, predictability and consistent outcomes. The other cherishes the new, wants to cause breakthroughs and flourishes on creating change. Both parties need to learn the others language.

3 Familiar

An Analytical will seek certainty in the past. Designers can bridge the past and future with stories and analogies to show similarities and make the unknown more familiar.

4 Size

Designers are not able to prove to the Analyticals their ideas will work. By chunking the problem do
wn, smaller predictions of what might happen will prove more acceptable to the analytical mind.

5 Balance

Remember, it’s all about balance. Neither design or analysis on it’s own is sufficient. A blend of both is best.

Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 12

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 12
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP10 : Designing Yourself

: There are two specific way
s to improve your personal design impact. The first is to develop your own Design Thinking skills. Here’s some suggestions to accelerate the three key aspects of your design performance.

1 Stance
Creating a design stance is your first step.
Your stance is how you see the world and, how you see yourself in that world.
Designers and non-designers see the world differently.

Adopt these attitudes to broaden your design horizons...
  • A typical designer seeks the unknown and surprise.
  • They’re comfortable with complexity.
  • They can balance pragmatic compromise and perfection.
  • And, they can balance reliability and validity.
  • Their core drive is creating the future.
How we see the world determines what actions we consider are viable.
Observe your actions to observe your stance.

2 Tools

As the old saying goes, ‘If the only tool you have is a hammer then everything begins to look like a nail’.
The more tools in your designer toolkit, the more flexibility in your design responses.

A designer has three main tools to help them understand the world and organize their thoughts: observation, imagination and configuration.

  1. Observation includes the ability to notice patterns and their underlying causes and seeing things others don’t.
  2. Imagination involves being able to see beyond what is so to what could be.
  3. Configuration is the ability to translate your idea into a form that delivers the desired business benefit.

3 Experience
Your design experiences are the most tangible part of your design knowledge system.

As we gather our experiences we sharpen our sensitivity to what works, what doesn’t and what could be.

By creating new distinctions between things we create greater choices.

Our experience also includes our skill levels.
As we practice we enhance our skills and our ability to produce our desired results.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 11

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 11
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP9 : Leading Design
: If leading for reliability is like training a dog, then leading designers may be closer to training a cat. How they think, act and respond is completely different. You’ll need to adjust your leadership style accordingly. Here’s eight suggestions to consider...

1 Chief Designer

Are you a design friendly CEO or the actual designer? For instance, Steve Jobs is the design champion for Apple whilst Jonathon Ives is the star designer.

2 More Quickly

The key value creation challenge is to put more ideas into the top of the funnel and move them to the bottom more quickly. How can you do this? Proctor and Gamble employed crowdsourcing to accelerate their innovations.

3 Be the Example
Immerse yourself in the designer’s way of thinking. You may need to think as both designer and business leader for a while until the two merge into one. Lead by being directly involved in a major design project.

4 Stand Up

In the good old days, sales, marketing or production may have ruled over design. No longer. To reinforce Design Thinking as a business imperative will require you to stand up and defend it in the face of demands from other business domains. Be prepared.

5 Design Review

Review your personnel. Who is design friendly and who is not? Both are required. Balancing reliability and innovation is the goal. Change the way you reward and review performance to adjust this balance.

6 Resist Reliability

‘Reliability’ leaders may use systems and statistics to make their judgements. This won’t work for managing design. You’ll need to invest time and energy into managing individuals and understand the ebbs and flows of a design project.

7 Support Team
Where Design Thinking may be missing, bring it in from the outside. For instance, Target commissioned star designers to create exclusive, well-designed, reasonably priced products. Consider having designers on your board and at the management level.

8 Commitment

Find ways to demonstrate your commitment to design rather than just talking about it. For instance, Steelcase bought IDEO to show they were serious. Merely redesigning logos is not going to be enough. Resourcing design effectively is crucial.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 10

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 10
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP8 :
Design Training
: The best way to get your team to include Design Thinking in their work is to get them to do it in training. The goal is not to turn them into complete designers - that’s a 3-5 year course - it’s to give them a taste, a feel and the experience of doing it. It’ll change the
way they work and bring your customers’ world closer.

1 Make ‘it’ Real
Grab a real design issue that’s relevant, important and significant.

2 Understand ‘It’

Develop a deep and holistic understanding of the users’ problem. Forget market research. Get down and dirty. Talk to users. Use it yourself. Break it. Get first hand experience of it.

3 Model ‘It’
Create simple explanations of your design issue. Highlight the components, the influences and the dilemmas. Draw diagrams, flow charts and words to describe the individual relationships and the whole.

4 Prototype ‘It’

Get hands-on. Build real solutions. These might be to scale or scaled-down. By making actual things you’ll get in touch with the problem at whole new level.

5 Refine ‘IT’

Test your solution. Tinker with it. Play with it. Redesign it. Destroy it. Then design ways to implement your final solution.

6 Refine ‘IT’

Test your solution. Tinker with it. Play with it. Redesign it. Destroy it. Then design ways to implement your final solution.

Wicked Problems
Wicked Problems are messy, confusing and ill-defined.

The causes are ambiguous, they don’t fit any neat categories and attempts to solve the problem merely shift it.
And, even when you’ve solved them, it won’t be clear that’s what you’ve done.

Non-designers hate them. Designers thrive on them.

The wicked challenge is to get a valid understanding of what is really going on.
Once you do this, then you’re a chance to resolve it.
But jumping ahead without getting a real understanding will simply cause further problems to arise.

It’s like grabbing sand in your hand. The tighter you hold it, the more it falls through your fingers.
Solving the right wicked problem your competitors cannot, may give you a big lead in revolutionizing your industry.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 9

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 9
Derived from:
Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP7 : Project Power

: Design work is different work. And it needs
to be structured accordingly. Whilst exploitation and administration work suits permanent positions in set roles, exploration and innovation work is favoured by project teams. Here’s eight tips for designing your projects...

Continuous Work

1 Specific Objectives
Projects need to be organized arou
nd specific goals with an end-date. If defined well this will sharpen focus and raise energy levels - particularly as the deadline approaches.

2 New Workflows

Continuous and specialized work is typically similar throughout. Project work has a completely different workflow. It can vary widely. It may include planning, customer interviews, physical testing, creative exploration and regular reviews.

3 Renewed Resumés
Designers are not that interested in job titles. They’d rather have a list of impressive projects they’ve worked on. Get ready to
rewrite your CV.

4 Room to Invent

Without the traditional job specific and professional positioning there’s room to play in new ways. By taking away the usual boundaries, you promote the likelihood of exploration and discovery.

Project Work

5 Cross fertilize
Project teams allow for fertilizing your teams with fresh seeds. It’s a chance to mix people who normally wouldn’t work together. It’s also a chance to add external designers to spice things up.

6 Funnel Movement

Projects are ideal for moving knowledge down the funnel - either Mystery to Heuristic or Heuristic to Algorithm. Continuous work and fixed job roles are better suited to administering existing Heuristics or Algorithms. Choose the work styles that best suits the work.

7 Collaborate Afresh

Projects are a great opportunity to promote collaboration in your organization. By freeing people from their traditional roles you’ll release their willingness to take a risk and explore working in fresh ways.

8 Variable Results

Creative work does not run in straight lines. It runs in fits and starts. Progress will vary. At times it might look like nothing is happening. Results may not be as you expect. Be warned: The project may even fail.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 8

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 8
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP6 : Building Within
Adding Design Thinking to your organization is not like adding a coat of paint. It’s more like rebuilding a new house from the inside. It’s a cultural change that requires a re-think, re-work and dare I say it, a re-design. Here’s ten clues to get you started...

1 Words
Analyticals and Intuitives speak a different language. One speaks ‘business’: reliability, proof, statistics. The other speaks ‘design’: possible outcomes, futures and alternatives. Start some language training! Go bi-lingual!

2 Clarity

Establish some clear expectations about what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen and what it’s going to look like when you become a Design Thinking organization. Also check timeframes. It may take 5 years to make the transition.

3 Traction

Start Design Thinking where you can get the most traction - ideally, where it already exists in your organization. Marketing may not be the obvious choice - they may be creative and they don’t necessarily operate like designers.

4 Help!

Recruit the best design talent you can. And, look for partnerships with other organizations that value design and do it well. Work experience in a design office might be a useful program to implement for your team.

5 Culture

A shift to Design Thinking is a cultural shift. You’ll need to review work incentives, team structures and workplace training. You’ll also need to stop rewarding the drive for reliability. Project planning will need to be evaluated in fresh ways.

6 Embed

Seed your teams with at least one designer. This may be a permanent arrangement or as a guest to get your people to think about their work differently. This includes your leadership teams and your board.

7 Build

Designers work differently! You may need to build new systems, new work environments, provide new tools, new computers...

8 Do It!
Talking about design will barely scratch the cultural surface. You need to do it and demonstrate it and demand it as part of your way of operating. Design ways for your entire organization to experience good design at work everyday.

9 Outsource
Consider outsourcing the areas of your business that already run as algorithms. This can be a way to reduce costs and release design fever.

10 Convert
Review existing heuristics and convert these to algorithms. The wealth of knowledge in the minds of your team could be worth more as a set of systems and procedures run by others. It’s a way to drive efficiency, reduce costs and free up Design Thinking.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 7

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 7
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP5 : The Reliability Bias

PROFIT : Reliability, predictability and consistency are crucial for business. They enable us to make promises to our customers and deliver. They enable us to earn income to pay staff wages, overheads and get ahead. They also
slow movement down the Knowledge Funnel thwarting innovation. Here’s some thoughts on how you can reduce your Reliability Bias.

Reliability is based upon taking action within a single truth - 'This is how we do things around here!'
In contrast, Validity says there are multiple truths. ie. There are many valid or suitable ways of doing things.

Reducing Reliability

Past Persistence

When the future resembles the past, it’s likely you have a reliability bias. Check how strong the demand for proof is when you’re allocating resources.

Eliminating Bias

‘The numbers will tell us the answer.’ Sometimes that’s correct and sometimes not. Relying on numerical data is one way to work. It’s important to be aware of it’s limitations.

Time Pressures

Reliable systems speed up analysis and judgement. Yet automated systems are not always accurate. Just ask stockmarket traders when the market plunges for no apparent reason. Being strong and valuing your management acumen is important too.

Valuing Validity

Redefine Proof

When we rely on the past to prove the future we finish up living in a world called ‘We’ve always done it that way.’ Sometimes we have to question our assumptions and basic proofs.

Embrace Subjectivity

Attempts to remove subjective judgements ramp up the pursuit of reliability. Turn off the stats and make an informed decision that includes your intuitive thoughts of what might happen.

Take Your Time

When do we need to know? Sometimes we simply get in an unnecessary hurry. Instead of merely ticking the boxes, take the time to question what is going on. Ask the question, ‘Is this valid?’ Is this accurate, authentic or credible?

One of the aims of employing Design Thinking is to offset the bias toward Reliability and make room for Validity.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 6

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 6 Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP4 : Design Thinking
PROFIT : Our usual logic frameworks follow the scientific traditions to determine what is true and what is false. Design Thinking takes a different course. It’s based upon what’s possible in the future and not what is true or false right now.

Deductive Logic
Deductive logic rationalizes from the general to the specific.
If ‘a’, then ‘b’.

It reflects analytical thinking.
It aims to create proof based upon the past.
  • Rigorous
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Decision Support Software

Inductive Logic
Inductive logic rationalizes from the specific to the general.
It’s about making generalizations from particular cases.
It reflects intuitive thinking.
  • Gut feelings
  • Subjective judgements
  • Bias and variation
Abductive Logic
Abductive logic parallels Design Thinking and asks ‘what could be?’
It’s based upon the belief that it’s not possible to prove any new thought, concept or idea in advance.
In other words, all new ideas can only be validated through the unfolding of future events.

Design Thinking

Roger Martin defines Design Thinking as
“the balance of analytical mastery and intuitive originality in dynamic interplay.” (P6)
Tim Brown of IDEO defines it as:
“A discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.” (P62)
Design Thinking is a blend of creativity and business that relies on Abductive Logic.
It’s necessary for optimal business performance.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 5

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 5
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP3 : Opportunities

PROFIT : The Knowledge Funne
l highlights four distinct opportunities to design, re-invent, innovate and exploit your business. The opportunities we create will depend upon where we start, where we finish and where we re-visit.

A New Business
To start a new business... and I
mean a business that does something new... you need to start at the top of the funnel.
Your challenge is to take an idea, an issue or a concern and translate it into a new way of doing things.

Then, you need to convert this into a business system that can produce the same result consistently over time.

Think McDonald’s
and how they’ve changed restaurants on a global scale.

Big Innovation
Going from Mystery to
Algorithm can also be applied to an existing organization.
For instance, a traditional industry transforming into a digital one requires this progression down the full knowledge funnel.
The big challenge here is the willingness to take on the task of questioning everything you do.
It’s not just an innovation challenge, it also requires a cultural change.

In his bestselling boo
k, The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber suggests that most small businesses fail because they don’t build systems.
For instance, a typical technician like a plumber, architect or coach starts with the heuristics of their profession, craft or trade.

The key to their business success lives in their ability to translate these into effective step-by-step, easy-to-follow procedures.

Without this, they’ll never be able to effectively outsource, add employees and build a business beyond themselves.

Little Innovation
Going from Heuristic to Algorithm is the chance to revisit a blind spot and reinvent your processes and your offers.

This is a potent opportunity for all businesses.

For instance, a law firm could systematize their knowledge so a lesser qualified, lower paid employee could perform the same work.

Alternatively, a trainer could restructure their work to produce the same result in less time, to more people at the same time or to franchise it for other people to run.

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