The Virtues, and Perils, of Design Thinking

On the virtues—and perils—of design thinking.

Earlier this year, an episode of the sitcom 30 Rock made great work of parodying Six Sigma, the business-management system developed by Motorola. With its penchant for pseudoscientific jargon and karate-inspired hierarchies, it makes for a ripe target, but it’s hardly a unique phenomenon. Every few years, the business world latches onto some new management paradigm that promises to reinvigorate corporate America and—perhaps more critically—maintain liquidity in the highly lucrative business-consultancy sector.

The latest panacea offered by the management-industrial complex, as you may have noted, is “design thinking.” A whole raft of books on this subject has hit stores over the past year. There’s Warren Berger’s Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even the World, a Gladwellian self-help primer drawn from the platitudinous mind of design guru Bruce Mau. There’s Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, a manual for the MBA set penned by Ideo’s Tim Brown. There’s Design Thinking: Integrating Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value, by Thomas Lockwood, president of the Design Management Institute, whatever that is. These are just a few of your options, and if they don’t suffice, you can enroll in Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, where you can earn a graduate degree in, yes, Design Thinking.

(Read more) Via