The Design of Business
Most companies today have innovation envy. They yearn to come up with a game—changing innovation like Apple's iPod, or create an entirely new category like Facebook. Many make genuine efforts to be innovative—they spend on R&D, bring in creative designers, hire innovation consultants. But they get disappointing results.Why? In The Design of Business, Roger Martin offers a compelling and provocative answer: we rely far too exclusively on analytical thinking, which merely refines current knowledge, producing small improvements to the status quo.To innovate and win, companies need design thinking. This form of thinking is rooted in how knowledge advances from one stage to another—from mystery (something we can't explain) to heuristic (a rule of thumb that guides us toward solution) to algorithm (a predictable formula for producing an answer) to code (when the formula becomes so predictable it can be fully automated). As knowledge advances across the stages, productivity grows and costs drop-creating massive value for companies.Martin shows how leading companies such as Procter & Gamble, Cirque du Soleil, RIM, and others use design thinking to push knowledge through the stages in ways that produce breakthrough innovations and competitive advantage.Filled with deep insights and fresh perspectives, The Design of Business reveals the true foundation of successful, profitable innovation.

The Design of Business Details

TitleThe Design of Business
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 13th, 2009
PublisherHarvard Business Review Press
ISBN-139781422177808
Rating
GenreBusiness, Design, Nonfiction, Management

The Design of Business Review

  • Kent
    January 1, 1970
    A prime example on why business books don’t hold up. In 2009, this was probably closer to cutting edge and innovative - that said, the writing is interminable when not discussing concrete case studies. Now, the approach Martin describes is table stakes to get innovative products out the door. Also note I said “closer to cutting edge” - that’s because there’s little new here. Everything Martin says has been said and done better in other works: The Innovator’s Dillemma, Blue Ocean Strategy, The De A prime example on why business books don’t hold up. In 2009, this was probably closer to cutting edge and innovative - that said, the writing is interminable when not discussing concrete case studies. Now, the approach Martin describes is table stakes to get innovative products out the door. Also note I said “closer to cutting edge” - that’s because there’s little new here. Everything Martin says has been said and done better in other works: The Innovator’s Dillemma, Blue Ocean Strategy, The Design of Everyday Things. Someone needed to distill and synthesize them, maybe, but a turgid and irritatingly self-congratulatory book didn’t need to be the medium. Additionally, some of Martin’s examples are wack: he touts Research in Motion’s now dead Blackberrry as a prime example of design thinking (he also lauded RIM for getting Blackberry to market before the iPhone, saying Apple wouldn’t have first-mover advantage). Take an L. He also praised Target for innovating against Walmart, but that Target would have to be mindful of other reasonable cost/high aesthetic brick-and-mortar shops coming for it — without one mention of ecommerce or Amazon. Take another L.This would have been an solid article outlining a great idea. As is, it’s a mediocre book with some embarrassingly out of date anecdotes.
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  • Steve Horton
    January 1, 1970
    Like many business books that caught the crest of a wave, you are sometimes reading this book thinking how obvious this all is. This may be true when an author has distilled a big, fluffy concept into black and white text, but this is no mean feat. Articulating business concepts can be like putting a cloud in a box. You are grabbing big handfuls of nothing.Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management, does a great job in describing the battle between current knowledge (efficiency) and n Like many business books that caught the crest of a wave, you are sometimes reading this book thinking how obvious this all is. This may be true when an author has distilled a big, fluffy concept into black and white text, but this is no mean feat. Articulating business concepts can be like putting a cloud in a box. You are grabbing big handfuls of nothing.Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management, does a great job in describing the battle between current knowledge (efficiency) and new knowledge (innovation)in an organization. Efficiency will rule in a traditional organization, because it helps the bottom line, and can be measured (ROI's, GP, etc.). Innovation, conversely, is difficult to measure, and may not benefit the bottom line for many quarters. And we are aware of Wall Street's obsession with quarterly reports!Martin advocates creating a "knowledge funnel" that can move innovation through an organization, so that even hoary CEO's with accounting backgrounds can be assured that the weird innovation guys on the third floor are contributing to the bottom line. Roger Martin contends that organizations embracing a marriage of the old and new knowledge will have a competitive advantage, as they will innovate more quickly.I believe "design thinking" has great application in today's organizations with the onslaught of social media as a marketing tool. All businesses need a social media presence right now; ignoring this as a fad will be hazardous to the bottom line.SH
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  • Owen
    January 1, 1970
    I got this from the library after reading a sample of Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL, which looked promising. But my library didn't have that one, so I read this one instead.It's godawfully written—clunky, repetitive, confusing—and it doesn't really have much to say. But what it does have to say is pretty good, and better than I expected for a "business book."Martin has two main ideas:1) Businesses ideas get funneled/simplified from the initial crea I got this from the library after reading a sample of Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL, which looked promising. But my library didn't have that one, so I read this one instead.It's godawfully written—clunky, repetitive, confusing—and it doesn't really have much to say. But what it does have to say is pretty good, and better than I expected for a "business book."Martin has two main ideas:1) Businesses ideas get funneled/simplified from the initial creative stage of exploration ("Mystery"), through an intermediate stage of professional practice ("Heuristic"), and finally to an automated stage of maximal exploitation ("Algorithm").2) The typical economic structure of businesses tends to favor exploitation and the value of reliability (repeatable results) over exploration and the value of validity (new knowledge); "design thinkers" work to balance the two tendencies.This produces hideous sentences, such as (picking at random from p. 17, i.e. quite early in the book) "What is the value to a business of driving through the knowledge funnel from mystery to heuristic to algorithm?" What, indeed?But I kept up with it for two reasons. One, since my long ago start at an MA in Whole Systems Design (WSD), I've learned that to much of the world, the idea of design as anything more than artsy doodles, let alone a broad approach to creative problem-solving, is completely foreign. So it was nice to see someone trying to give design a good name in that deeper sense.Two was the wild one, though. Martin associates exploration/validity-valuing thought with C.S. Peirce's notion of abductive reasoning—or "inference to the best explanation"—as opposed to induction and deduction, lumped together as analytical reasoning, the tools of exploitation/reliability. Now, that in itself wasn't a big shock, since that split has been familiar to me since I learned about abduction via Carlo Ginsburg and Umberto Eco's essays in the fantastic anthology The Sign of Three: Dupin, Holmes, Peirce. But there it had been in the context of semiotics, extended to historical and literary thinking. Later I made some faint attempts of my own to link abduction up with cognitive science and its notions of creative problem-solving, and in the back of my mind I knew it was exactly what WSD's "design thinking" was about—but I'd never articulated that to anyone, nor seen any trace of it in others' writing. And here Martin plunks it into the center of his book!He by no means has the last word on abduction, though; often he uses it as just a fancy synonym for "creativity." There's really not much more to this book than the two points above, supported by lots of examples. There's very little in the way of imagining new forms of management or business structure which might complement and support design thinking. For the full story at that level, I suspect WSD's old heroine Mary Parker Follett (Mary Parker Follett: Prophet of Management : A Celebration of Writings from the 1920s) had it all straight 90 years ago.
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  • Liam
    January 1, 1970
    "As understanding moves from mystery to heuristic to algorithm, extraneous information is pared away; the complexities of the world are mastered through simplification." (12-3)."[N]o new idea could be proved deductively or inductively using past data. Moreover, if new ideas were not the product of the two accepted forms of logic, he reasoned, there must be a third fundamental logical mode. New ideas came into being, Peirce posited, by way of 'logical leaps of the mind.' New ideas arose when a th "As understanding moves from mystery to heuristic to algorithm, extraneous information is pared away; the complexities of the world are mastered through simplification." (12-3)."[N]o new idea could be proved deductively or inductively using past data. Moreover, if new ideas were not the product of the two accepted forms of logic, he reasoned, there must be a third fundamental logical mode. New ideas came into being, Peirce posited, by way of 'logical leaps of the mind.' New ideas arose when a thinker observed data (or even a single data point) that didn't fit with the existing model or models. The thinker sought to make sense of the observation by making what Pierce called an 'inference to the best explanation.' The true first step of reasoning, he concluded, was not observation but wondering. Pierce named his form of reasoning abductive logic." (64)"A design-thinking organization would function more like P&G's Global Business Services (GBS) unit, which uses a fluid, project-based activity system to tackle large undertakings such as the Gillette integration. When the project is finished, the team disbands, reforming in a different configuration suited to the next task at hand. 'Flow to the work' is what GBS has come to call its structural approach, and over time, GBS employees have become increasingly at ease with organizing themselves by projects rather than permanent structures." (119)"Constraints point the validity-oriented design thinker to the locus of needed innovation. They frame the mystery that needs to be solved." (128)
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewed by Ravensbourne MA student.“The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage”. Written by Roger Martin, the dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and published by the “Harvard Business Press”, in Boston, Massachusetts, 2009. [Amazon.co.uk-https://www.amazon.co.uk/Design-Busin...]In a constantly changing and developing society, it is safe to argue that businesses which fail to agilely adapt to the ever changing landscape jeopard Reviewed by Ravensbourne MA student.“The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage”. Written by Roger Martin, the dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and published by the “Harvard Business Press”, in Boston, Massachusetts, 2009. [Amazon.co.uk-https://www.amazon.co.uk/Design-Busin...]In a constantly changing and developing society, it is safe to argue that businesses which fail to agilely adapt to the ever changing landscape jeopardise not only their growth, but their survival, too. Roger Martin on his book “The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage” brings to light valuable insights that showcase vital and competent business strategies. The latter are capable of granting a sustainable competitive advantage both to the organisation and its members. Approaching the unknown and owned knowledge and resources through “design thinking”, while ultimately achieving innovative outcomes, can place the business on the advantageous position of being adaptable and novel. What is “Design Thinking”, anyway? Definitely, it is a term more and more used across an abundance of fields. However, it can be easily misinterpreted and wrongfully referred. To begin with, one needs to set the framework and context under which the above term is being mentioned. When it comes to business structures, “Design Thinking” is being perceived as a strategy for innovation, that employs and links creative and methodological design principles, resulting into the yield of dynamic competitive edge (Naiman, 2017).According to the writer, businesses tend to direct their efforts and activities, either towards the exploration of original knowledge (innovation) or towards the exploitation of the existing one (efficiency), in order to generate value. However, a third alternative indicates that there is an ideal pattern which would balance both latter mentioned principles, for maximum efficiency. That being said, one of the most fundaments models that are being presented on the book concern the direction and path that information and knowledge are being processed within an organisation. Roger Martin introduces the concept of “The Knowledge Funnel”. During the above process, employing “design thinking” would guarantee the simultaneous use of both innovation & efficiency, in an effective manner. The first stage of the “The Knowledge Funnel” is the exploration of a “mystery”, where the information is countless and still quite vague. Moving forward, one would reach to the “heuristic” stage; applying rule of thumb investigations would contribute to narrow the area of inquiry, and produce a manageable size of answers. The last stage lead to the use of the “algorithm”, an automated formula where exploitation takes place, so as to result to the optimum solution. Funnelling organisational resources and concepts, with maximum efficiency and effectiveness, aids to a simplification of all required procedures, while ultimately offering ideal and novel solutions. “Design isn’t just about making things beautiful; it’s also about making thing work beautifully”. As a firm believer of the above notion, Roger Martin, suggests the usage of the analytical thinking; 100% reliability” and “intuitive thinking; 100% validity, on their intersection (as it could be presented by the Venn Diagram of Probabilities). The referred intersection (50/50 mix) is described by the “design thinking”. The revolutionary approaches of tackling business problems and implementing unique procedures, are well-structured through proof of evidence and invocation of existing case studies and success stories in a variety of business organisations. In the present reality, within a world that businesses struggle to dealing with their foremost challenge; gaining a sustainable competitive advantage and unveiling their Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to their target audiences, premises that lead to revolutionary way of achieving these goals, could only be considered as of substantial worth. As a designer, I have found myself plenty of times battling for identifying the perfect balance of rational and intuitive thinking. Roger Martin recommends persuasive and functional methods of combining the “deductive” and “inductive” thinking to the “abductive” one. Transferring fundamental design practices and applications onto the business spectrum can assist managers to design their businesses in a functional and simplistic manner, while producing ground-breaking outcomes. However, one important point worth of mentioning, is that he advises and summons all members of an organisation, regardless their managerial level, to apply these tactics. After all, as Mahatma Gandhi said we need to ““Be the change that you wish to see in the world”, each and every drastic novelty derives from an accumulation of individual efforts directed toward a common purpose. Overall, I found this book highly relevant to the existing reality and applicable to every kind of organisational structure. It should be noted, that even the design of the book's cover adheres to innovative editorial design principles. Roger Martin, the dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, seems to have mastered the notion of rebuilding and reinventing, under the balance of the pertinent virtues of design thinking, while effectively and efficiently communicating his message and viewpoints to his audience. ReferencesNaiman, L. (2017). Design Thinking as a Strategy for Innovation. [online] Creativity at Work. Available at: http://www.creativityatwork.com/desig...
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  • Fred Zimny
    January 1, 1970
    I like books that can be read in a weekend. And that can be consumed while sipping a nice Talenti Brunello 2000The content of the book was that interesting that i forgot to watch part of the CC 2010 (although I did see the professional stage)In the book Roger Martin explains why an over reliance on analytical thinking leaves us vulnerable in times of change and blind to emerging opportunities.For me it was great to see how the author described this also on the professional and personal level.Rog I like books that can be read in a weekend. And that can be consumed while sipping a nice Talenti Brunello 2000The content of the book was that interesting that i forgot to watch part of the CC 2010 (although I did see the professional stage)In the book Roger Martin explains why an over reliance on analytical thinking leaves us vulnerable in times of change and blind to emerging opportunities.For me it was great to see how the author described this also on the professional and personal level.Roger Martin outlines for me also the approach how to deal with the tension between analytical thinking and intuitive creativity within all organizations. The book delivered me insights to bridge exploitation versus exploration. I can understand why the book is labelled as best business book 2009. Brilliant and challenging me to rethink the way i want to act on the professional and personal level.And as stated not time consuming and it still enables to do other nice things in one weekend.
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  • E
    January 1, 1970
    Applying design principles to business managementRoger Martin’s book on business design is subtle yet profound. He guides you to rethink the way you conceptualize business decisions so you can shift to “design thinking.” Using an approach rooted in both practice and theory, Martin cites examples ranging from Cirque du Soleil to McDonald’s. He urges you to reconsider your leadership model and organizational structures, and to exercise “abductive logic,” thinking that moves through “logical leaps Applying design principles to business managementRoger Martin’s book on business design is subtle yet profound. He guides you to rethink the way you conceptualize business decisions so you can shift to “design thinking.” Using an approach rooted in both practice and theory, Martin cites examples ranging from Cirque du Soleil to McDonald’s. He urges you to reconsider your leadership model and organizational structures, and to exercise “abductive logic,” thinking that moves through “logical leaps of the mind.” Martin’s call for action is bold and enjoyable. He offers innovation and regeneration as the rewards for accepting his challenge to balance validity and reliability. getAbstract recommends his book to designers, those who work with them, and anyone charged with managing innovation or organizational redesign. To learn more about this book, check out the following link: http://www.getabstract.com/summary/12...
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    Good primer on the integration of design thinking into an organization. Mostly keeps it at a conceptual, theoretical level and uses fairly general case studies to tell the story.
  • Brendan Byrne
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a 15 minute TED Talk in slow motion. Opportunities that long form media like books allow for are disregarded. Very much like slow motion where new information isn't introduced, but rather the already existing information is enhanced, this book explores little outside of the ideas it engages with and opts for redundancies, repetitions, and mantras.Martin's core idea of the knowledge funnel strikes me as a rebranded and dressed up version of the scientific method where mystery->que This book is a 15 minute TED Talk in slow motion. Opportunities that long form media like books allow for are disregarded. Very much like slow motion where new information isn't introduced, but rather the already existing information is enhanced, this book explores little outside of the ideas it engages with and opts for redundancies, repetitions, and mantras.Martin's core idea of the knowledge funnel strikes me as a rebranded and dressed up version of the scientific method where mystery->question, heuristic->hypothesis, and algorithm->conclusion. There are differences, but they are subtle and not explained to a degree that I found satisfactory. Less excusable, are the same dichotomies presented over and over again. Where analytic-intuitive, exploitation-exploration, deductive-abductive, and reliability-validity are all basically the same idea, they are granted explanations that extend for pages and appear multiple times throughout the book. It's unclear to me who this book is for. It's not detailed enough for a professional and a general audience isn't exactly going to be drawing value from the case studies of executives of multinational corporations. The tone is nebulous and primarily negative towards conventional business practices. However, the book shines in its last chapter where Martin shares his personal experiences working with different kinds of workers and how best to get them onboard with your ideas. This book does not have a conclusion which I find very strange.
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  • Gayendra Abeywardane
    January 1, 1970
    'The Design of Business' by Roger Martin is another wealthy design read I was fortunate to come across via the awesome folks at the ThinkBig team @Optus.Again, pursuing my new interests in 'Design Thinking'. This book explains why we must step away from reliability-oriented management and seek new anomalies to exploit. Running a reliable algorithm based on past data makes us vulnerable to cataclysmic events. This fact is very apparent with the rapid advance in technology and disruptive business 'The Design of Business' by Roger Martin is another wealthy design read I was fortunate to come across via the awesome folks at the ThinkBig team @Optus.Again, pursuing my new interests in 'Design Thinking'. This book explains why we must step away from reliability-oriented management and seek new anomalies to exploit. Running a reliable algorithm based on past data makes us vulnerable to cataclysmic events. This fact is very apparent with the rapid advance in technology and disruptive business models popping up. Six Sigma and TQM will drive out waste from the business but will not always generate innovative new designs.The book has several examples of how real-world organisation like P&G transformed themselves into Design Thinking, innovative business. How people who work to optimise existing algorithm should share information and collaborate with designers, who delve into the chaos in search of new opportunities.We should not let mysteries stay a mystery and explore all possibilities in the knowledge funnel. We should embrace and tacked the world's 'Wicked Problems'!
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  • Khalil Alfar
    January 1, 1970
    Solid read to get you grounded on design thinking and share lots of stories and examples of organizations and teams who have gone through that and the impact it had on them, lives and society. Could use a refresher on topics, selection of examples and stories. My favorite is RIM as an example of an organization that leveraged design thinking and the example of Mike Lazaridis (CEO and founder of RIM) talkes about competition. By watching his competitors, Lazaridis had learned the danger of resin Solid read to get you grounded on design thinking and share lots of stories and examples of organizations and teams who have gone through that and the impact it had on them, lives and society. Could use a refresher on topics, selection of examples and stories. My favorite is RIM as an example of an organization that leveraged design thinking and the example of Mike Lazaridis (CEO and founder of RIM) talkes about competition. By watching his competitors, Lazaridis had learned the danger of resing comfortably on existing heuristics and algorithms, "Morotola lost because it didn't embrace the future," he says, "it was too damn good at what it was doing." Seduced by reliability, Motorola had stopped thinking like a designer. Hmm, the irony!
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  • Jay
    January 1, 1970
    I've heard of the Ford model T 'if people were asked what they wanted, they would want a faster horse' story many times before. It was refreshing to read about the Aeron chair and how users wanted the 'finished product' with padding and upholstery when they saw the chair. It was also interesting to read about blackberry from the 2009 perspective when it was still popular (before iphone and android overtook it). The idea of codifying ideas from mystery to heuristic to algorithm is prevalent in te I've heard of the Ford model T 'if people were asked what they wanted, they would want a faster horse' story many times before. It was refreshing to read about the Aeron chair and how users wanted the 'finished product' with padding and upholstery when they saw the chair. It was also interesting to read about blackberry from the 2009 perspective when it was still popular (before iphone and android overtook it). The idea of codifying ideas from mystery to heuristic to algorithm is prevalent in tech and resonates throughout this book.
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  • Brendan
    January 1, 1970
    Ok book for a specific audienceI would not recommend this book if you are looking to generally learn about design thinking. This book does have some good thoughts on how you might introduce design thinking into an organization that is typically more focused on execution and efficiency, but that's about it.
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  • Ahn, Hang San
    January 1, 1970
    Read this book with Changes by Design by Tim BrownThe book talks about the essential frameworks of design thinking in a way that beautifully counterbalances Tim Brown's Changes by Design, which is a lot more about how to design-think.
  • Dean Millson
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book I have read by Roger Martin and in some ways my review is similar to the last. The premise here is a great insight, but I'm not sure it's worthy of an entire book. There is quite a bit of repetition and padding around the main idea, but it's a worthy idea, none the less.
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  • Anthony Threatt
    January 1, 1970
    Overall the book was great and the discussion about reliability and validity was something that I hadn't thought about before. I was wishing for a little more though beyond that chapter to really dig deep into the design of business.
  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    I was hoping for more insight from this book regarding design thinking.
  • Vi
    January 1, 1970
    mystery > heuristic > algorithm
  • Anuj Khandelwal
    January 1, 1970
    A good read for the first timers on Design thinking along with examples drawn from the corporate world.
  • Nick Richtsmeier
    January 1, 1970
    It’s hard to find a good design-thinking book. The design-thinking curricula are so loaded with internal vocabulary and insider contrarianism that the reader often feels like you are swimming through a sea of barriers to entry. Some of this is because true design-thinking is incredibly tactile and almost somatic, making it difficult to train in a book.This book suffers from much of the same, added to the fact that it venerates design-thinking businesses and leaders which have since its writing n It’s hard to find a good design-thinking book. The design-thinking curricula are so loaded with internal vocabulary and insider contrarianism that the reader often feels like you are swimming through a sea of barriers to entry. Some of this is because true design-thinking is incredibly tactile and almost somatic, making it difficult to train in a book.This book suffers from much of the same, added to the fact that it venerates design-thinking businesses and leaders which have since its writing nearly drove themselves out of business because they failed to practice the exact teaching in this book (I’m looking at you, BlackBerry)And yet, the frameworks presented in this book, namely the mystery-heuristic-algorithm model and the necessity of abductive reasoning are so accurate and essential that they should be required competencies for anyone building future-oriented businesses. You’ll sift through a lot of silt for the gems in this book, but the gems will be worth it.
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  • Lisandro Pugliese
    January 1, 1970
    Looking the balance between reliability and validityThis book helps me to understand how to be creative and at the same time make those ideas appealing for an old school or analytical stakeholder. The risk of new needs to be faced and this is a good book to understand how to deal with.
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  • Marks54
    January 1, 1970
    This book is about "design thinking". What is that? Well, it is a combination of rational/analytical thinking (deductive/inductive) and intuitive thinking. Borrowing a term from CS. Peirce, it is "abductive" thinking. The process involves being able to appreciate and sort through the mystery of the raw empirical world, shape initial intuitions and judgments into heuristics and then shape those further into algorithms.Where does actual "design" -- what designers do -- fit in? Good question. It is This book is about "design thinking". What is that? Well, it is a combination of rational/analytical thinking (deductive/inductive) and intuitive thinking. Borrowing a term from CS. Peirce, it is "abductive" thinking. The process involves being able to appreciate and sort through the mystery of the raw empirical world, shape initial intuitions and judgments into heuristics and then shape those further into algorithms.Where does actual "design" -- what designers do -- fit in? Good question. It is supposed to fit in and their is a chapter that concerns a real firm that designs office furniture (Herman Miller). Design notions appear at various places in other chapters too, but this is not primarily a book about design, so let the buyer beware.Design thinking is about facing those tensions and dichotomies that all businesses face in trying to prosper in competitive markets. They need to have good and effective products, but not over specialized. They need to be efficient, but also adaptable to changing conditions. They need to engage with their customers and employees but also need to be profitable and gain competitive advantage. They need to pursue reliability and validity. Get the idea? The idea is to present six chapters showing how successful firms and their leaders have confronted these persistent tensions and achieved some modicum of success. The concluding chapter restates these problems in the form of a solution to spur the reader to employ design thinking.As an entry into the consultant/guru segment of trade business books, this is a good effort. The writing is clear, the buzzword count is somewhat suppressed, the example companies are interesting. Besides the author is onto something in looking at the interaction of design and business -- look at Apple's success. The trouble is that I am not sure how much progress is being made in this book. The recommendations boil down to the some combinations of recommendations that have been common in the genre for a long time - be fluid but organized, come up with good ideas, fit the best solutions, take the soft factors into consideration, listen to your employees, etc. I don't see where any resolutions are reached, although the author is careful not to claim any. The notion of looking at business functions organized around the key factor of good design work is intriguing, however, and makes this treatment a bit different from others.The book has all the limitations of other guru books. The tone is a simplistic mixture of consulting and academia. Perhaps that is because the author is a consultant and an academic. One gets the sense that the meat of the examples is in the details of each situation - precisely those details that are covered in confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements. The book then becomes a general discussion of the approach that the author takes with clients -- a sort of marketing brochure for executives who might be interested in following up.These books have a very short shelf life. This is a 2009 book and I had read some chapters earlier for various projects. In looking at them now, they seem dated. The author's consulting firm, Monitor, has gone bankrupt. Some of the companies profiled have undergone changes of fortune in the subsequent five years. For example, the head of Blackberry is profiled. To see how timing matters, run a 10 year stock profile on Blackberry and you will see that few now would see it as an exemplar company as it was seen in 2009.Overall, if one finds this sort of book interesting, it is good for its genre and still has a few bits of information to provide.
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  • Zaher Alhaj
    January 1, 1970
    This is a classic example of how to make a mountain out of a molehill. Although the author is an acclaimed management consultant worldwide, IMHO, the book failed utterly in presenting the key concepts of “Design Thinking” in a systematic way, let alone the misleading title of the book. It is painfully repetitive, with no methodologies, processes or practical tips or steps, except very few ones scattered over here and there. Simply, it is just a set of commonsensical notions and lengthy anecdotes This is a classic example of how to make a mountain out of a molehill. Although the author is an acclaimed management consultant worldwide, IMHO, the book failed utterly in presenting the key concepts of “Design Thinking” in a systematic way, let alone the misleading title of the book. It is painfully repetitive, with no methodologies, processes or practical tips or steps, except very few ones scattered over here and there. Simply, it is just a set of commonsensical notions and lengthy anecdotes that elaborate repeatedly on a very well-known trite: “we have two modes of operating a business (Now in IT world, Gartner calls it the “IT Bimodal”)”: 1) The Reliability mode –as it had been confusingly called by the writer: is concerned with the usual operating of the business. Key words here are: “analytical thinking, data-driven, efficiency, productivity, ROI, bottom line, KPIs, automation, industrialization, rationalization, inductive and deductive reasoning, large corporation, certainty, history, exploitation, to mention a few”. Then the second mode is: 2) The Validity mode –as it had been called again confusingly by the writer-, which is concerned with the research part of the business. Key Words here: “R&D, experimentation, exploration, innovation, discovery, intuition, divergent thinking, design thinking, startup, entrepreneur, agile, ambiguity, future to mention a few”.The first star for the idea of Knowledge Funnel (Mystery >> Heuristic >>Algorithm), and second start is for the last chapter “Getting Personal” which contains some practical for individuals.
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  • Robert Chapman
    January 1, 1970
    I had no idea what I was getting into with this book, I picked it up because the title intrigued me. Yep that's it takes for me to buy a book sometimes, I admit it…I found myself immediately enjoying the book and connecting with the author's message. The prime concept revolves around reliability vs. validity. That sounds a bit complex as written, but it's actually quite simple as it relates to business.Reliability is as it sounds, being consistent and reliable. For example, a business is reliabl I had no idea what I was getting into with this book, I picked it up because the title intrigued me. Yep that's it takes for me to buy a book sometimes, I admit it…I found myself immediately enjoying the book and connecting with the author's message. The prime concept revolves around reliability vs. validity. That sounds a bit complex as written, but it's actually quite simple as it relates to business.Reliability is as it sounds, being consistent and reliable. For example, a business is reliable when it uses a little more than the same budget as last year to achieve slightly better sales than last year thus pleasing the shareholders with their return. Reliability of this nature is usually accomplished at the expense of innovation and solving the next wicked problem. As such, businesses who fall into this trap over the long term usually end up losing their edge in the market place and can succumb to the pressures of competition.Validity on the other hand is all about solving the wicked problems by looking into the mystery, finding a new way to solve a problem, and then converting that solution into an effective algorithm.Of course reliability and validity have to co-exist, and this is what the Design of Business is all about. I found this book really refreshing in terms of challenging me to think about the wicked problems in new ways - I need to spend more time staring into the mystery.
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  • Stephen Collins
    January 1, 1970
    A useful explanation of what makes for design thinking. As a design thinker, having some of Martin's articulate words in your head will no doubt be of use when you need to explain what it is you do and how you do it to the more reliability-oriented, deductive thinkers you'll encounter almost every day.Martin goes to great effort to distinguish the validity-centric design thinker's abductive, "what if" mindset as a key tool, balanced against the reliability-centric mindset of most of the world, f A useful explanation of what makes for design thinking. As a design thinker, having some of Martin's articulate words in your head will no doubt be of use when you need to explain what it is you do and how you do it to the more reliability-oriented, deductive thinkers you'll encounter almost every day.Martin goes to great effort to distinguish the validity-centric design thinker's abductive, "what if" mindset as a key tool, balanced against the reliability-centric mindset of most of the world, focused on ensuring repeatability and low levels of variation. So too, he makes a powerful point that for many design thinkers, the tools we trade in - understanding and empathy, language, context - are something that in working with clients or in the businesses that employ us, we allow to grate rather than seeing that in itself as a design thinking challenge. Clever!Not a book of practical, try this, tools for design thinkers, Martin's book, rather, seeks to explain the nature of thinking and working this way for those curious as to what design thinking IS. For the design thinker, there will be many "Yes!" moments, but an equal number of "Why is he explaining this?" ones. Remember, this book is not for you, the design thinker, but a tool to help you explain why and how you do what you do. Get your boss to read it.
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  • Jack
    January 1, 1970
    The author believes that there are two camps; one analytical and one intuitive/creative when it comes to strategic management and innovation. I would consider this set-up a bit like a straw man. In my own view, the analytical approach is more important for strategic management and the intuitive/creative approach for innovation. Instead the author obfuscates by talking about design of business (nothing to do with industrial design), which just adds one more unnecessary term to management speak.Th The author believes that there are two camps; one analytical and one intuitive/creative when it comes to strategic management and innovation. I would consider this set-up a bit like a straw man. In my own view, the analytical approach is more important for strategic management and the intuitive/creative approach for innovation. Instead the author obfuscates by talking about design of business (nothing to do with industrial design), which just adds one more unnecessary term to management speak.The book is mostly filled with case stories of now relatively known cases like P&G and Cirque du Soleil. The case stories are written from the outside so they will of course fit the authors viewpoint. I would have preferred case studies that actually had some inside knowledge of what was going on inside the company. Right now these descriptions feel rather flaky. Furthermore, one wonders why the author has not used his own management consulting experience to find relevant cases.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting book. Good theoretical insight into managing innovation. Example cited are not very inspiring (may be the book was published 5 yrs ago - 2009). New terms and perspectives:- Knowledge Funnel: Mystery > Heuristic > Algorithm- Reliability (Analytics, Exploitation) vs. Validity (Intuition, Exploration)* Thoughts on how to solve a Mystery and form it into Heuristics- New idea can not be proven in advance. Possible only through future events. Financial business case of an innovation Interesting book. Good theoretical insight into managing innovation. Example cited are not very inspiring (may be the book was published 5 yrs ago - 2009). New terms and perspectives:- Knowledge Funnel: Mystery > Heuristic > Algorithm- Reliability (Analytics, Exploitation) vs. Validity (Intuition, Exploration)* Thoughts on how to solve a Mystery and form it into Heuristics- New idea can not be proven in advance. Possible only through future events. Financial business case of an innovation is inherently false. - Inductive Fallacy: inferring validity from reliability - Wicked Problem: difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. (nature of innovation)- Abductive Logic: a form of logical inference that goes from an observation to a hypothesis that accounts for the observation, ideally seeking to find the simplest and most likely explanation.
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  • Shonna Froebel
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fascinating look at business success written by the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.Martin has been involved in business strategy for years, directly in businesses, as a consultant, and as a board member. Therefore he knows whereof he speaks. He gives solid examples of businesses that use design thinking, as well as a good overview of what design thinking really is and how to keep it from devolving into the reliable standard way of doing business. T This is a fascinating look at business success written by the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.Martin has been involved in business strategy for years, directly in businesses, as a consultant, and as a board member. Therefore he knows whereof he speaks. He gives solid examples of businesses that use design thinking, as well as a good overview of what design thinking really is and how to keep it from devolving into the reliable standard way of doing business. The examples include both health care and consumer products and show how management can either lead design thinking themselves or create the environment to foster it. The last chapter gives ways to help all in business to move towards this successful way of doing business.This will definitely get you thinking out of the box.
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  • Hong Gao
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to separate this book into two parts. In part one, Martin establish a work frame on knowledge funnel mystery - heuristic - algorithm. The main argument is if the company focuses in heuristic-algorithm, which features reliability bias, company will be less creative and become mediocre; companies need to commit themselves and strive to decode mysteries, which features validity to find new paradigms and logics. It is this design thinking that makes business keep momentum.In part two, i I would like to separate this book into two parts. In part one, Martin establish a work frame on knowledge funnel mystery - heuristic - algorithm. The main argument is if the company focuses in heuristic-algorithm, which features reliability bias, company will be less creative and become mediocre; companies need to commit themselves and strive to decode mysteries, which features validity to find new paradigms and logics. It is this design thinking that makes business keep momentum.In part two, it is about how to make this happen through business culture, org reengineering, leadership represented in various business cases. It strikes most, however, is the view to balance reliabilities and validity, analytics and intuitiveness, which is fine arts to obtain.
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  • Shahid Khan
    January 1, 1970
    A must read for any leader & corporate boards who are challenged with growth in current times and need to transform their companies into a constantly innovating organization.Very profound insights as to why the lost art and desire of pursuing the unknown to uncover unmet user needs in this age.The good news is: the solution is in plain sight!But it requires deep thinking and calculated risk taking to grow. When companies like CocaCola starts to practice the art, the magic happens.For corpora A must read for any leader & corporate boards who are challenged with growth in current times and need to transform their companies into a constantly innovating organization.Very profound insights as to why the lost art and desire of pursuing the unknown to uncover unmet user needs in this age.The good news is: the solution is in plain sight!But it requires deep thinking and calculated risk taking to grow. When companies like CocaCola starts to practice the art, the magic happens.For corporate managers who are happy milking the current status quo, this book can provide a path forward to grow constantly.In essence, it requires a transformation in the mind of leaders (leaders themselves must become constant learner's).
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