Perhaps unfortunately I was on the receiving end of a rant about design thinking last week. It was a passionate, articulate, and informed rant, but a rant nevertheless.
There is no doubt in my mind that design thinking is a competitively crucial capability. In this homogeneous and connected world, recognising the value that design can deliver, that it is an integral part of not just the physical products, but of enterprise culture and processes, is essential to commercial longevity.
However, design thinking has a fundamental flaw, a flaw clearly demonstrated by the “rantor” last week. As my old Dad used to say, “Son, you get 1/10 for thinking about it, the other 9 are for doing it”
My rantor was a thinker, but do not ask him to do anything creative. It is hard, dangerous (to a career) work to be contentious, advocate stuff outside the status quo, to be the questioner who backs up the questions with action, and most shy away.
We do need more design thinking, but we also need way, way more design doing, so stop hyping, and start doing.
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Design is central. Design is thinking. Design is actions. In the case of agriculture it is “rural by design”, that is design thinking and design execution results in an outcome. It is not an end in itself.