Review of the book: The Designful Company. How to build a culture of nonstop innovation

The Designful Company: How to build a culture of nonstop innovation (Voices That Matter) The Designful Company: How to build a culture of nonstop innovation by Marty Neumeier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very interesting author. I’m glad I run into this book. Mr. Neumeier writes from the position of somebody who know how to write and who has experience with what he is writing about.

Three things to remember from this book

One of the thing that has surprised me a lot was a clear confidence that design management is never to be outsourced. But at the same time many of the design skills should always be outsourced. For me, very useful point.

The second thing. This was not a surprise. Because I couldn’t agree more. When companies are growing or if they want to grow, the need a Chief Design Officer or Chief Brand Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, VP of Creativity – you name it. I really couldn’t agree more. I even have a presentation on the subject, its in Slovene, if you understand some, here you’ll find it:

Then there are some other things I’m glad I found out. In 1990’s Samsung paid employees in Innovation Design Lab to study in their new building six days a week for a year long. !!! Now they have 380 in-company-trained designers that are helping to launch 100 products per year. In Slovenia some academics have proposed that a former textile giant Mura should have around 500 designer but I doubt that the managers are listening.

Stage-gate innovation approach

In the book there is an interesting approach presented to the innovation process, called stage-gate innovation. In four stages it goes from:

  • seed money to develop concept,
  • small bet to develop strategy,
  • medium bet to model and test, and
  • large bet to launch in market.

One question with a pretty good answer. How do you get a bunch of independent minded professionals to play nice together? By establishing sensible rules of engagement. Easy to say, harder to put in real life in my opinion.

And then there is a fascinating scheme what should actually CEO-s do. If the want to be visionary leaders they need to be managers of stories. The scheme goes into six categories. Really fascinating. And then there is another fascinating scheme. About deep design. It goes from Ideology, Resonance, Emotion, Reason, Perception to Vision, Identity, Culture, Products, Brands. Wow!

Design thinking, the future of the designful company and sex

Is there anything funny in this book? Yes. If we want to describe the creative process this is something deeper as weeding describes sex. Was that understood? I guess not.

What is third brain thinking. Thinking with logic and inspiration. Design thinking. Simple. Design thinkers tend to be:

  • empathetic,
  • intuitive,
  • imaginative,
  • idealistic.

Also future should be designed, not decided. Because difference and design bring together the delight.

And two things to the end. Design is moving from “toasters and posters” to include processes, systems and organizations. And design will force Wall Street to change the rules of investing. Yes, I toast to that.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Three options to create value for the business and for the society | savic

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