Friday, April 26, 2019

Design Thinking: The Irony of Making Big Bets on a Test & Learn Methodology

I was interviewed recently for an article titled, "How to make the case for design thinking" by Stephanie Overby. The piece was just published by The Enterprisers Project this week. Here's an excerpt, in which I make the point that some organizations make big bets on adopting design thinking... going against the very philosophy of the methodology. which is to test, experiment, and learn - iterating often to get better faster.  

Start Small with Design Thinking

Organizations do not need to make big bets on design thinking to see returns. “It’s ironic, actually, that some organizations have made huge bets right out of the gate, when the ethos of design thinking is ‘experiment and test,’” says Mike Roberto, management professor at Bryant University and author of "Unlocking Creativity: How to Solve Any Problem and Make the Best Decisions by Shifting Creative Mindsets."

“Moreover, teams do not have to embrace the entire methodology at first. They can start by focusing on certain elements of the process.” They might begin by adopting some field research or end user techniques or embracing a prototyping philosophy. “Pick a relatively manageable problem, assemble a team, and give design thinking a test drive,” advises Roberto. “Strive for a small win. Then share the story of those positive results. Win some allies and, in so doing, build some momentum in the organization around design thinking. Then move on to some more challenging projects.”

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