Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The Design of Business
I just finished reading Roger Martin's new book, The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage. Martin, the Dean of Toronto's Rotman School of Business, has become a thought leader in the area of how design thinking can be applied to business, and I enjoyed his prior work on the "opposable mind." I think this book does a nice job of highlighting the power of what Martin calls "abductive thinking" - while also exposing the dangers of over-emphasizing reliability in organizations at the expense of exploratory, creative work. The book, however, has one substantial weakness. Martin fails to actually take the time to explain to the reader how designers do their work. As a result, the discussion of design thinking remains rather abstract and conceptual. It would have been helpful to walk the reader through the design process, and THEN show how that process has application to the broader field of business.