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The Designful Company: How to Build a Culture of Nonstop Innovation

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  236 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Part manifesto, part handbook, THE DESIGNFUL COMPANY provides a lively overview of a growing trend in management-design thinking as a business competence. According to the author, traditional managers have relied on a two-step process to make decisions, which he calls "knowing" and "doing." Yet in today's innovation-driven marketplace, managers need to insert a middle step ...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published March 30th 2009 by New Riders Publishing (first published December 16th 2008)
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Annie Smidt
When I saw the AIGA imprint on this book, I figured it might mean that the ideas inside wouldn't be progressive enough for me. And sure enough, I did feel that way for the most part. That's not to say it's a bad book, or that it wouldn't be completely game-changing for many readers. And not to be self-aggrandizing either, but this was a case of preaching to the converted for me (and not going nearly far enough).

The premise here is that corporations must embrace design thinking or perish in our n
Marko Savić
Mr. Neumeier writes from the position of somebody:
+ who knows how to write, and
+ who has experience with what design and innovation.

The most important claim in this book for ma was a clear confidence that design management is never to be outsourced. But at the same time many of the design skills should always be outsourced. For me, very useful point.

The second important thing for me was that companies that are growing or if they want to grow, would need a Chief Design Officer or Chief Brand Off
Feb 12, 2009 Brittany rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Business Managers, CEOs, Executives, Business Owners, Brand Managers
Recommended to Brittany by: Me
How I Came To Read This Book: My boss & I have a common favourite business author in the form of Marty Neumeier. For his wedding, I preordered him the latest Neumeier tome and he was nice enough to lend it to me before he had the chance to read it.

The Plot: All of Neumeier's books are written in a whiteboard style (i.e. light on text, heavy on ideas, with graphics to drive things home) and are meant to be read in a relatively short period - such as a cross-country plane trip. The focus of th
Boring. It reads like a manifesto, even though the author begins the book stating that it isn't. All platitudes. There's really nothing objectionable in this book, which is what's wrong with it. Nothing surprising, interesting, thought-provoking, novel. Design is good. That's it. Thanks for that.
The word "design" conjures up graphic designers or interior designers, at least in mind. This book, along with a Fast Company article about David Butler, Chief Global Design Officer for Coca-Cola, is helping me broaden that definition. Design, as Marty Neumeier asserts, is the key to innovation. A new definition of design and designers: "Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones." Simply put, design is change. A designer is imaginati ...more
You just need to find a situation worth improving and then work through the creative process.

The act of moving people from an existing situation to an improved one is leading.

Inductive reasoning - observing that something works
Deductive reasoning - proving that something IS
Abductive reasoning - proving that something could be

Design - the way forward

New options must be imagined using the design process.

off the rack solutions are insufficient in an age of perpetual change.

"Looking to be wrong
I'm a big fan of Marty Neumeier's short and pithy book The Brand Gap, but The Designful Company didn't quite live up to the quality of its predecessor.

The first half of the book is full of catchy but shallow marketing-speak about the importance of orienting companies around design practices, but it fell far short of being actually persuasive. I very much believe in the power of design as a way to make products better, faster, and cheaper, but I can't imagine any skeptical businesspeople could be

I've been reading about design thinking for several years now -- seemingly through the phrase's various cycles of ascendancy into the way to save your business and descent into cliche -- so it was pretty hard for me to get psyched about it. It's not bad, really. it covers the basic ground of why different types of thinking are needed for innovation. But it's still very mired in a couple tedious trends: 1) fixation on a small number of companies that we need to emulate; 2) an extreme focus on dif
Le Nguyen
like a collection of many good ideas, but itself is so unorganized.
Another short gem from Marty Neumeier, this is a great, quick read about how to design a company that itself generates innovation and design. Neumeier provides a range of ideas, from how to build a culture of innovation (sound familiar, IDEOers?) to how innovation can clearly (and measurably) impact the bottom line.

I've read The Brand Gap, but I need to pick up Zag too. I've also noted all the books Neumeier listed as recommended reading in the back of this and will be cruising through those as
This book was really interesting, but the steps described will be hard to truly implement unless you are a very high level manager or decision maker. Even so, it reminded me the importance of being the change I'd like to see, and cultivating a group of like minded coworkers to spur change from within. Very easy reading, can be read on a modest length flight, as promised.
Different, inspiring and motivating! When you are involved in any sort of product/service creation, this is a must-read. It also helps you to understand better how some of current "old-school" companies work.
Michael Graber
a great brain tune up for change agents. even if you do not agree with the forcible conclusions or assumptions, they provoke new ways to think about organizations
Daniel Markwig
Liked it quite a lot. Many of the insights seem to be self evident, but it is important to get them pointed out.
Widgets &
An inspiring read for company leaders looking to maximize their organization's innovation potential.
Fritz Desir
Read it. Loved it. Now to retain and practice it. (Arghhh, deadlines I hate you)
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