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Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage
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Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  860 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Most companies today have innovation envy. They yearn to come up with a game—changing innovation like Apple's iPod, or create an entirely new category like Facebook. Many make genuine efforts to be innovative—they spend on R&D, bring in creative designers, hire innovation consultants. But they get disappointing results.

Why? In The Design of Business, Roger Martin offer
Kindle Edition
Published (first published October 13th 2009)
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Steve Horton
Jul 24, 2011 Steve Horton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like many business books that caught the crest of a wave, you are sometimes reading this book thinking how obvious this all is. This may be true when an author has distilled a big, fluffy concept into black and white text, but this is no mean feat. Articulating business concepts can be like putting a cloud in a box. You are grabbing big handfuls of nothing.

Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management, does a great job in describing the battle between current knowledge (efficiency) and n
Aug 01, 2011 Liam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"As understanding moves from mystery to heuristic to algorithm, extraneous information is pared away; the complexities of the world are mastered through simplification." (12-3).

"[N]o new idea could be proved deductively or inductively using past data. Moreover, if new ideas were not the product of the two accepted forms of logic, he reasoned, there must be a third fundamental logical mode. New ideas came into being, Peirce posited, by way of 'logical leaps of the mind.' New ideas arose when a th
Feb 23, 2012 Owen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I got this from the library after reading a sample of Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL, which looked promising. But my library didn't have that one, so I read this one instead.

It's godawfully written—clunky, repetitive, confusing—and it doesn't really have much to say. But what it does have to say is pretty good, and better than I expected for a "business book."

Martin has two main ideas:
1) Businesses ideas get funneled/simplified from the initial crea
Fred Zimny
Jan 31, 2010 Fred Zimny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like books that can be read in a weekend. And that can be consumed while sipping a nice Talenti Brunello 2000

The content of the book was that interesting that i forgot to watch part of the CC 2010 (although I did see the professional stage)

In the book Roger Martin explains why an over reliance on analytical thinking leaves us vulnerable in times of change and blind to emerging opportunities.

For me it was great to see how the author described this also on the professional and personal level.

Apr 19, 2010 E rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Applying design principles to business management

Roger Martin’s book on business design is subtle yet profound. He guides you to rethink the way you conceptualize business decisions so you can shift to “design thinking.” Using an approach rooted in both practice and theory, Martin cites examples ranging from Cirque du Soleil to McDonald’s. He urges you to reconsider your leadership model and organizational structures, and to exercise “abductive logic,” thinking that moves through “logical leaps
Aug 01, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book. Good theoretical insight into managing innovation. Example cited are not very inspiring (may be the book was published 5 yrs ago - 2009). New terms and perspectives:

- Knowledge Funnel: Mystery > Heuristic > Algorithm
- Reliability (Analytics, Exploitation) vs. Validity (Intuition, Exploration)

* Thoughts on how to solve a Mystery and form it into Heuristics

- New idea can not be proven in advance. Possible only through future events. Financial business case of an innovation
The Dirty Sanchez
Roger Martin's book presented an interesting treatment on business strategy and innovation that he calls "Design Thinking." Though he repeats himself a bit, I found the Knowledge Tunnel (Mystery-Heuristic-Algorithm) an intriguing way to discuss how "mysteries" of knowledge are known, confronted, and solved using the time-tested methods of inquiry known as analytical vs. intuitive thinking. He seems to think that he has struck the perfect balance between these diametrically opposed ways of thinki ...more
Apr 03, 2011 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-time
Good primer on the integration of design thinking into an organization. Mostly keeps it at a conceptual, theoretical level and uses fairly general case studies to tell the story.
Shahid Khan
Jan 06, 2016 Shahid Khan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for any leader & corporate boards who are challenged with growth in current times and need to transform their companies into a constantly innovating organization.

Very profound insights as to why the lost art and desire of pursuing the unknown to uncover unmet user needs in this age.

The good news is: the solution is in plain sight!

But it requires deep thinking and calculated risk taking to grow. When companies like CocaCola starts to practice the art, the magic happens.

For corpora
Zaher Alhaj
This is a classic example of how to make a mountain out of a molehill.
Although the author is an acclaimed management consultant worldwide, IMHO, the book failed utterly in presenting the key concepts of “Design Thinking” in a systematic way, let alone the misleading title of the book. It is painfully repetitive, with no methodologies, processes or practical tips or steps, except very few ones scattered over here and there. Simply, it is just a set of commonsensical notions and lengthy anecdotes
Robert Chapman
Jul 05, 2013 Robert Chapman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership, business
I had no idea what I was getting into with this book, I picked it up because the title intrigued me. Yep that's it takes for me to buy a book sometimes, I admit it…

I found myself immediately enjoying the book and connecting with the author's message. The prime concept revolves around reliability vs. validity. That sounds a bit complex as written, but it's actually quite simple as it relates to business.

Reliability is as it sounds, being consistent and reliable. For example, a business is reliabl
Stephen Collins
A useful explanation of what makes for design thinking.

As a design thinker, having some of Martin's articulate words in your head will no doubt be of use when you need to explain what it is you do and how you do it to the more reliability-oriented, deductive thinkers you'll encounter almost every day.

Martin goes to great effort to distinguish the validity-centric design thinker's abductive, "what if" mindset as a key tool, balanced against the reliability-centric mindset of most of the world, f
This book is about "design thinking". What is that? Well, it is a combination of rational/analytical thinking (deductive/inductive) and intuitive thinking. Borrowing a term from CS. Peirce, it is "abductive" thinking. The process involves being able to appreciate and sort through the mystery of the raw empirical world, shape initial intuitions and judgments into heuristics and then shape those further into algorithms.

Where does actual "design" -- what designers do -- fit in? Good question. It is
Mar 25, 2012 Jack rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The author believes that there are two camps; one analytical and one intuitive/creative when it comes to strategic management and innovation. I would consider this set-up a bit like a straw man. In my own view, the analytical approach is more important for strategic management and the intuitive/creative approach for innovation. Instead the author obfuscates by talking about design of business (nothing to do with industrial design), which just adds one more unnecessary term to management speak.

Anssi Grekula
Jan 29, 2016 Anssi Grekula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brief and clear statement for balancing two kinds of mindsets (those of an accountant's and an artist's, to exaggerate) to – well – innovate and do business better.

Martin starts with a clear framework of a "knowledge funnel" and refers back to that on almost every page following. On one hand it's very good since now the concept feels like it's etched on my brain. On the other hand, the book gets a bit too repetitive. But since it's just under 180 pages, and good for commuter reading (small siz
Shonna Froebel
Nov 25, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-related
This is a fascinating look at business success written by the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Martin has been involved in business strategy for years, directly in businesses, as a consultant, and as a board member. Therefore he knows whereof he speaks. He gives solid examples of businesses that use design thinking, as well as a good overview of what design thinking really is and how to keep it from devolving into the reliable standard way of doing business.
Hong Gao
Nov 29, 2015 Hong Gao rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to separate this book into two parts. In part one, Martin establish a work frame on knowledge funnel mystery - heuristic - algorithm. The main argument is if the company focuses in heuristic-algorithm, which features reliability bias, company will be less creative and become mediocre; companies need to commit themselves and strive to decode mysteries, which features validity to find new paradigms and logics. It is this design thinking that makes business keep momentum.

In part two, i
Mar 03, 2015 Ved rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably this was written when concept of Design Thinking was new.. Provide good insights on the case studies picked in the book. Though, didn't like the point stated that Blackberry has been termed as far ahead to Apple in terms of creativity and bringing innovation to the product, which we all know has been falsified.
Jaidev Shah
Jun 02, 2016 Jaidev Shah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: design-thinking
Roger Martin gives a road map to design thinking for a company in very simple language. i appreciated his decision not to deify some of the CEOs he writes about. i would recommend this book to all business owners who are looking for ways to grow.
Sep 22, 2015 Kelsey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really great book as a broad overview of the topics discussed within, however I found my mind wandering a fair amount while I was reading. Interesting, for sure, but not one I would've chosen to read just for simple enjoyment of the topic.
Jul 29, 2011 irfan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well i originally thought that this book would be just about design or/and business as separate entities. On the one hand, some aspects of the book does bring out the successes enjoyed by companies who adopt a design-centric approach in their business. But on the other, I do suspect that these are only more directly applicable to product-centric businesses. Nonetheless examples from Herman Miller's revolutionary Aeron chair and the ever popular Southwest Airlines evolutionary approach to strateg ...more
Apr 19, 2015 Gwen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the author's insight about the role of language as a tool to bridge the divide between innovation and execution priorities was helpful. This book would help Intrapreneurs navigate that divide more skillfully.
Elizabeth Trudeau
The is the best book I've found thus far for explaining why design thinking is applicable beyond consumer products r&d. Specifically relevant for people working in traditional business structures. Easily shared with analytically oriented colleagues
Jan 01, 2014 Ninakix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Martin's previous book, The Opposable Mind, and since the publishing of that book, he has developed quite a reputation. I was happy as I begun the book - Martin's description of the "knowledge funnel," and how to turn something from mystery to heuristic to algorithm, was something I resonated with and was interesting to think of from many perspectives - the individual, the organization, the interaction of companies - sadly, I was a bit frustrated with the fact that the book seemed to pete ...more
Sep 04, 2014 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were some helpful insights in here, and I believe this book is a widely-referenced one, but I much prefer Lean Startup in terms of planning and executing business ideas.
Prashant Kelker
This book will go onto my reference shelf - I probably highlighted more than 50% of this book. Roger Martin lifts the curtain up from simultaneously managing innovation and predictability, and seeks not only to define Design Thinking but also translate what this means in the corporate world.

The pattern of translating mystery to heuristics to algorithms is the closest answer I have seen to getting tacit expertise into explicit corporate knowledge that is scalable.

Most books are worth a quick rea
There's a problem with this book. One of the highly praised examples of innovative companies is Research in Motion. Enough said. :) Otherwise an ok theory.
Rachel Magario
Jul 04, 2015 Rachel Magario rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good read. If you want to understand interaction design, design thinking and how it applies to business, I would start with this book.
Theodore Kinni
Jan 20, 2016 Theodore Kinni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A short read that explores the indispensible and intertwined roles of validity (innovation) and reliability (simplification) in business success.
Jan 30, 2011 Aditya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This was a tough book to read mainly because the intellectual models developed in the first two chapters are quite close to crap. There are many many businesses that do not look like what author proposes and there are other solutions that work. The book get interesting as it gets into stories of RIM and P&G. I loved those stories. After that comes the part where the theory developed in the earlier chapter gets applied. This does yield dividends and useful ones at that. I still think that the ...more
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  • Design Thinking: Integrating Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value
  • Design Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean
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  • Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation
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  • Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis
  • The Designful Company: How to Build a Culture of Nonstop Innovation
  • This is Service Design Thinking: Basics – Tools – Cases
  • The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization
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  • A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business
  • Designing Social Interfaces
  • Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even the World
  • Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business
  • Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration
  • The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge
  • Design Thinking: Understanding How Designers Think and Work
  • Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices

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