In an effort to resuscitate a riff about venture design that I wrote about a few months ago, I’m going to point you (and myself) to this nice Bill Breen Fast Company piece about design thinking, Roger Martin, and the Stanford d.school. Here are two paragraphs I particularly like:
The trouble is, when confronted with a mystery, most linear
business types resort to what they know best: They crunch the numbers,
analyze, and ultimately redefine the problem "so it isn’t a mystery
anymore; it’s something they’ve done 12 times before," Martin says.
Most don’t avail themselves of the designer’s tools — they don’t think
like designers — and so they are ill-prepared for an economy where the
winners are determined by design.
Organizations that embrace a design-based strategy also employ the
practice of rapid prototyping. Whereas conventional companies won’t
bring a product to market until it’s "just right," the design shop is
unafraid to move when the product is unfinished but "good enough."
Designers learn by doing: They identify weaknesses and make midflight
corrections along the way.
The subtlety here is that "design shops" don’t typically ship products, they only create them. The trick is to create a culture within a product organization that is willing and able to ship products that are only "good enough", as this is the enlightened path to creating products that are "wow". I think this may require having design thinkers working across every discipline in the organization — finance, marketing, sales, service, manufacturing, engineering, etc… one needs to design a venture that can only be staffed with design thinkers. I’ll be revisiting this topic as I get into Dan Pink’s new book. Stay tuned.