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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 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  563 ratings  ·  42 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
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Published (first published October 13th 2009)
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Steve Horton
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
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
"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
Fred Zimny
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.

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
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.
Robert Chapman
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
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.

Shonna Froebel
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Rachel Magario
Very good read. If you want to understand interaction design, design thinking and how it applies to business, I would start with this book.
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
Sarah Sampsel
Awesome read if you work in the design field
Raluca Popescu
If design thinking is a new topic for you, it's a decent book to start with. No complicated terms go unexplained, the examples are vivid and the argumentation easy to follow.
However, if you've taken a good business, strategy or innovation course in the last few years, you'll be bored by the time you reach the end, as it's too general and lacks practical implications.
This is a book with many good lessons for those looking to apply "design thinking" to the business world. However, it's hard to recommend it as written. Ultimately, it feels like it would have made an excellent college lecture, but in the same way, the prose feels like it was adapted from PowerPoint. I'd say "pass" unless you're already familiar with the author's style.
Matt Baker
A very grounded approach to design thinking in practice, heavily supported with Martin's personal experience in helping massive corporate beasts to embrace this more intuitive way of approaching innovation. A very easy read laden with entertaining anecdotes and case studies. One of the better business books out there and more progressive in its approach than most.
Andrew Long
This book is, like most business books, bloated. It only really contains two useful concepts: Abductive logic, and the Mystery-Heuristic-Algorithm funnel. There's a light smattering of anecdotes about the Aeron chair, the Blackberry, Steelcase, and a few other businesses. Can be read in an afternoon by a good scanner.
While the model itself is nothing revolutionary, it offers a great visual and conceptual framework to gut-check measure where you or your company lie on the innovation<--->status quo continuum. Organizational self-awareness is a good and uncommon thing.
Some interesting ideas, though not very innovative from a design standpoint. Points seemed to be repetitive throughout the book, three main points of how to integrate design thinking to traditional business behavior.
Malcolm Bastien
Like his first book, pretty repetitive. I give it a bit better review than The Opposable Mind thanks to a bit more focus of what design thinking looks like for CEO and other employees in organizations.
An excellent summary of the problems with innovation in large companies. His chief recommendation is also the chief problem: the CEO has to care. Depending on where you work, this may make you sad.
Ben Vella
Interesting book, though some of the examples of RIM feels like he is selling the company. The central idea is also stretched out and repeated with limited additional insight.
A fascinating reflection on past, present and the inevitable future of business practices... recommend highly to anyone remotely interested in the business world.
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  • The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge
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