I'm late to this game, but as they say, better late than never. Though Tim Brown (CEO of lengendary design firm IDEO) wrote Change by Design back in 2009, I'm only just getting around to reading it. And though I'm not quite all the way through, I've been so blown away by it that I had to share.
It does what so many other such business books endeavour to do but can't quite manage: balance that important tension of being insprirational while still being concrete. Too often I find these books will be one or the other - either so motivational that I feel like I'm going to change the world while I'm reading it but I quickly fall back into the everyday because there isn't a clear way to implement.
The other end of the spectrum are books that read like how-to volumes - full of advice and 10 step solutions but leave little to engage the imagination or promote experimentation.
Change by Design does both - it paints a pretty picture of what can be but then gives concrete examples of how one can actively practice design thinking.
Again, I'm not entirely done yet, but here are some early nuggets:
- There are three 'spaces' of innovation: inspiration - the problem or opportunity that motivates the search for solutions; ideation - the process of generating, developing and testing ideas; and implementation - the path that lead from the project room to the market.
- Accept the iterative, non-linear journey and embrace the subsequent detours and discoveries
- Aspire to be a design thinker, not a designer and work to solve for 3 success criteria: feasibility - what is functionally possible in the foreseeable future; viability - what is likely to become part of a sustainable business model; desireability - what makes sensee to people and for people
- Shift your thinking from problem to project and ask yourself "How might we..."
- Foster an attitude of experimentation (follow the passion and excitement) and a culture of optimism (people need to believe it is within their power to create new ideas that will make a positive impact)
- Build on the ideas of others
- Practice visual thinking - doodle as much as you jot notes
I could go on but I'll stop there and encourage others to give this book a read because I can't entirely do it justice out of Tim Brown's context. It may have been written a couple of years ago and so has some more outdated examples but it's a testament to the enduring principles because it doesn't take away from the impact of the overall lessons. And for those looking for the quick summary, here's a pretty good one: http://www.ecologyofdesigninhumansystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Change-By-Design-Tim-Brown.pdf
My new dream: to one day attend d.school at Standford because I think the whole world, no matter the topic or the challenge could use a bit more design thinking.