Is design thinking fad or fact? What do you think?
Clay Maxwell invited me to comment his post Is design thinking fad or fact? Well, I don’t know if I’m the right person to argue about that question. Because as far as I’m concerned I have no doubts. You?
Don Norman recently argued what are the pros of design thinking in 2013. In the post Design thinking: a useful myth or essential tool? the cons from 2010 are also briefly presented. I thought about design thinking for the first time couple of year ago. And was trying to argue Why design thinking is important for every business? In short, design thinking is a third mode of thinking, if we say that the other two modes are analytical thinking and intuitive thinking. In a way I more than agree with Roger Martin that design thinking is kind a thinking outside your stomach.
And if you have a problem with the term, you can take design thinking as a design strategy. If you wish, take a look at my presentation on design strategies and economies.
The last thing on the so called dilemma design thinking, fad or fact? Paul Pangaro summarizes it very exactly:
Design is the act of seeing something that we want to be better and then the activity of making it better.
Design thinking has been a term that arose in order to distinguish between what others think of as design which is usually just the surface to the thinking behind. Thinking is something you do first and then you make. +Paul Pangaro, CTO, CyberneticLifestyles.com
And now to the other three questions from Clay.
Q2: Is certification or training in design thinking desirable? Valuable?
Yes. It does depend on the culture of your society, economy and companies though. In Germany and Slovenia that kind of things matter. I guess in the USA too if you consider only Microsoft Certificate something… My proposal is to start and design certificates in:
- Certificate in Design business and management
- Certificate in Strategy and business model generation
- Certificate in Corporate identity and leadership
- Certificate in Design communications, media and publishing
- Certificate in Communications and social media
- Certificate in Value proposition design
- Certificate in Design thinking and business innovation
- Certificate in Creativity development
- Certificate in Corporate social responsibility
Q3: If there is one, what is a better term for design thinking?
I don’t know why should somebody be looking for the better term. But like mentioned. If design thinking sounds like a sort of religion to you, use design strategy. And try to infuse your organise with design strategy. It’s the best thing you can do for building the innovation capacity of your organisation.
Q4: If you’re trying, how are you embedding design thinking into your organization? What’s working?
Well, cases are numerous. In my opinion, corporations are actually better equipped to infuse an organisation with design thinking. Probably the best case until now is P&G. See it for yourself: Claudia Kotchka on innovation at P&G, Institute of Design Strategy Conference, May 2008 (video, 47 minutes)