Using Design Thinking for Growth


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Using Design Thinking for Growth is a transcription of a Business901 podcast.. It contained great thoughts on how Design Thinking may be to Business Growth the way Lean and Six Sigma has been to quality.

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Using Design Thinking for Growth

  1. 1. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Using Design Thinking for Growth Guest was Tim Ogilvie Related Podcast: Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  2. 2. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsTim Ogilvie is the CEO of Peer Insight, an innovation strategyconsultancy, where he has made pioneering contributions to the emerging disciplines of service innovation, customer experience design, and business model exploration. His projects seek to create organic growth by using design thinking methods to link new customer experiences to scalable business models. “Design thinking” is a topic that recently burst onto the scene accompanied by lofty promises but precious few practical details.Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers isthe book that provides those details. Going beyond the basictheory and philosophy of recent books about the topic, it showsreaders how to apply design thinking in a step-by-step way tosolve complex growth opportunities.Authors Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie assure readers thatbusiness leaders already have the power to design for the 21stcentury–they just need to figure out how to use it. And they saythat any leader of innovation in an organization has likely beenpracticing design thinking all along. Written in an approachable,hyperbole-free tone, Designing for Growth: A Design ThinkingToolkit for Managers will help business owners, executives,managers and staff discover the strengths they already have andteach them how to develop some new skills, providing the toolsand templates to make readers instant brown-belts in designthinking. Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  3. 3. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe Dager: Welcome everyone. This is Joe Dager, the host ofthe Business901 podcast. With me today is Tim Ogilvie whos theCEO of Peer Insight, an innovations strategy consultancy, and heis the coauthor of "Designing for Growth," a new book which issubtitled "A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers." I want tothank you, Tim, for joining me. I would like to start off by askingone of your questions, "Who your book is meant for, designers,innovators or is it a book for business managers?"Tim Ogilvie: Great question. It is definitely targeted for thepracticing manager, the person whos got a responsibility to growtheir business and who does not have any training in design;plain and simple, is looking at ways to grow their business. Thatsour target.Joe: Is it a business management tool versus, something forinnovators or for design engineers?Tim: Well one of the challenges in innovation, Joe, is thevocabulary isnt very uniform or shared. Unlike in the qualityprofession where we have really precise language, we just donthave that in the world of growth and innovation. Design inparticular is just a really fuzzy word that means a lot of things toa lot of people. What weve done is to try to effectively demystifywhat design thinking is. Theres certainly been a lot of hyperboleand a lot of talk at an abstract level. And my coauthor and Ithought, we need to reduce this to something really practicalthats a tool that people can use.What you find as I know you spent time with the book is, its verymuch written in laypersons terms with the least amount of fancyjargon and the greatest amount of very practical stories of howeveryday managers are quitting the tools to use. Thats the thingIm proudest of.Personally Im vocabulary challenged; often will find a reallyprecise fancy word, and so fortunately your clients really coach Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  4. 4. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsyou to put it in plain English. My coauthor has been really greatthat way, to keep the entire book in usable plain English for thepracticing manager.Joe: One of the things I hesitated about is, when I did see yourcoauthor being from, I think, Columbia Business School, Ithought is this going to be like a textbook? What is it going to be?That was one of my first thoughts when I was looking at it onAmazon, and its not at all.Tim: Jeanne is just the most pragmatic strategy professor in theworld, and I have been teaching with her for four years. Whenshe invited me to coauthor the book I knew it would be superpractical, super usable, but I totally understand your hesitation.The expectation of the academic world is nuanced, precise,vocabulary laden, and what we managed to create is actuallycompletely story based and practical. And again, for me thatseasy. My whole world is practicing with real managers on theground. But for Jeanne, its an amazing trick for my coauthor,and she has pulled it off.Joe: Is this book a reflection of what you do at Peer Insights?Tim: Oh yes, very much so. When she approached me she said,"Tim, you have to help me write this book, because I dont havestories - the access to all those stories and the people doingthis - in the same way that you do." She knew what we did as afirm, and weve been teaching together for four years, and so weknew that would come together quite naturally. But I think ourusual role in the world is to help companies solve growthproblems, and design thinking is a set of tools that are optimizedto solve growth problems. So this is a very close approximation ofour role in the business world.Joe: Can you kind of give me an idea of how you would definedesign thinking? Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  5. 5. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsTim: Yeah. Im trained as an engineer, and I grew up in thequality movement in the late 80s and early 90s. And in thequality movement we use a method of thinking I would refer toas analytical thinking. You have a data set to work from and youreduce that data set to a series of insights, and you buildpotential new answers based on that. Design thinking is anotherproblem solving approach that is a complement to analyticthinking.Design thinking is perfect for situations where were looking at afuture that doesnt exist yet. Joe, if were trying to figure out afuture that may or may not come into existence, we dont haveany source of data. The analytic tools break down very quickly.Then as a practicing manager you think, "Well, I dont have toolsfor that."Design thinking is the tools for that, to say, hey, we can actuallyprototype alternative futures. Rather than creating data for them,we can simply have target users experience those prototypes. Wecan observe from their own behaviors and preferences whichones are working better than others.So, very much, the core of whats in a design thinking approachis extreme focus on the user and their experience; visualizingmultiple options, testing those in the hands of the users, anditerating very quickly from less appealing options to moreappealing options.It just relies on experimentation which analytic problem solvingprocesses dont need to rely on those as much because, in theworld of analytics, we have source data from which to work.Joe: When you come out of a business management school, itseems like MBAs are all very driven by analytics, are they not?Tim: Well thats what were trained in and, for that matter, evenbefore MBA we start getting trained in analytics in fourth and fifth Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  6. 6. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsgrade is the reality of it. We stop being trained in design becauseits not very practical. Were not going to be able to get a job,most of us, as designers. Its a shame that we stop developingthose gifts because we all have them. But the beautiful reality ofdesign thinking is you havent lost your gifts for creativeexploration at all. Theyre so innate to humans. And when weshow the tools to a manager, whos an MBA, like you said Joe,and extremely analytics oriented and you put these tools in theirhands, they say, "Ill never do it the other way again."They instantly have success. They dont have the vocabulary for itnecessarily, but they have the instincts and the intuitionperfectly.If I may, Ill tell you a story. One of my favorite design thinkersthat we profile in the book is Dave Jarrett. Daves a seniorpartner at Crowe Horwath accounting and consulting firm. So, ofcourse, Dave has an MBA; Dave has a CPA. Do you think heshyper analytically developed? Absolutely.But what he found was that, when they were developing newsolutions for clients, they were creating data where none existed.They were treating that data as if it was real. They were buildingwhole solutions that might cost $25,000 to create the prototype,getting it perfect before they took it to the customer.Then theyd go to the customer and the customer would say, "Oh,its not really what I need." Its like, as Dave says, "You get a lotof false starts." We worked with Dave and solved that andintroduced these tools of rapid prototyping.Today what Dave does is, hell get a group of people in a room.Theyll spend a day or a day and a half experimenting with whatnew solutions could be. Theyll turn those into a simplestoryboard, a sketch if you will, and go out to customers on daythree, before theyve spent $25,000 creating a prototype. Theyll Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  7. 7. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemssay, "Hey, heres the scenario we see, and heres the directionwere working toward. What do you think?"What was really fun about Daves experiment was that hedschedule an hour with his clients, and his partner said, "Youreinsane. Your clients dont want you out there half-cocked withsomething you havent thought through."What Dave found was just the opposite. That, he said, hedschedule an hour for these meetings, and the clients werespending two hours completely loving the invitation to designsomething with us, and theyd have all kinds of enthusiasm.Hed be back a week later with a more highly evolved version ofit, and theyd say, "Oh, thats getting much closer. Now it justneeds this or it needs..." Within a few weeks they really hadfigured out what the prototype was that was worth building, andthey already had a customer for it before they wrote the first lineof code.That, to me, is a guy whos a born again design thinker eventhough, as we said, hes effectively trained exclusively inanalytics and math and in science.Joe: That kind of brings me to a couple of my questions aboutprototyping and co-creation. You explained the co-creationprocess to me, because its out there working with the customer.Versus, I think a lot of people think of co-creation is, that youregetting this customer in this room. Youre talking about whateach other needs and things like that. But its not. Youre showinghim something, working with him through a process, constantprototyping somewhat. Is that a fair analogy?Tim: Yeah, very fair. I think the listing that youre talking aboutalso happens, but it happens upstream. As youre really thinkingabout whether this is a problem you think you can solve. Ofcourse youre working closely with your customer and youre Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  8. 8. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsasking him whats frustrating. Most of our clients have thatcontext already in hand, whether its an internal customer or,more classically, an external customer. The difference inco-creation and prototyping is youre actually mocking somethingup visually that, again, it could be a crude sketch or it could be awiring diagram. Most often were taking it out of PowerPoint,easily the worst tool for this type of innovation.Were getting it onto a poster, so something that you can lay outon a table like a blueprint, or something you can tape up on thewall. Were asking them to interact with it with their hands, andput a Post-it note at the parts they dont understand or put aPost-it note to fill in a blank.You can imagine, its just completely participatory. Youre out oflanguage at that point and youre into images, even if theyrecrude, stick figure images. Youre accessing a different part ofyour customers brain and a different part of their competence.When I think about Christi Zuber, whos a nurse at KaiserPermanente, she was asking their nurses in the field to describe aparticularly stressful process that they go through every day onthe floor.One of the ways she asked them to do it was, she said, "Draw asketch of what this part of your day is like," and she would havenurses drawing. At first the nurses would say, "Well, its stressful,but everythings stressful." So were in language, and its notworking. And theyre drawing a picture of themselves on rollerskates with people on either side of them shouting at them. Nowyoure getting somewhere. Youre starting to see the real stressthat shes feeling.The idea of the roller skates tells you, oh she feels like she cantgo fast enough, that she has to find ways to move even faster.She feels like shes being shouted at from two different Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  9. 9. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsdirections. Theres an information flow requirement here that weneed to manage.But youre really starting to get, as I say, your customerscompetence starting to come through. In the same way that aquality engineer knows that using an Ishikawa diagram is afantastic way to stimulate people to think about the differentpotential failure modes in a process.Joe: Well, I think of this as really just a great extension of Lean.Lean is learn by doing, a hypothesis, a PDCA cycle. With theseiterations its a great way of really taking what I call a new levelto Lean, because design thinking adds some great skills to it.Especially I look at your organizing framework of what is, what if,what wows, what works, really was a great bridge between aPDCA cycle to a normal business practice.Tim: So I agree, and I have seen Lean experts struggle withdesign thinking at the front end in a couple of ways. I thinkphilosophically youre right. Its absolutely perfectly aligned. At apractical level, there is in a Lean world, very often a source ofdata and a set of data tools that are hugely valuable and a certaincomfort. Those typically dont really exist in a design problem. Ifyoure looking at futures, we often just dont have data. I thinkthat comfort with using eight or 10 customer interactions as yourdata, as opposed to, which is obviously all qualitative, and think,"Twelve observations, I cant get any quantitative insights fromthat." And we agree. So getting some comfort level with smallsample sizes, I think, has been a trick.I think theres also Lean practitioners - the desire to get to theanswer quickly and get to implementation - that Lean has thiswonderful sense that theres a clock ticking. But design thinkingseeks at the beginning to keep it open and generate more andmore new alternatives, and, in fact, experiment with multiplealternatives in a way that, its not against the principles of Lean, Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  10. 10. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsbut as I say, weve seen some Lean practitioners want to jumptoo quickly to the answer is just intuitively speaking to them.What we urge in design thinking is wait, spend more time andgive the customer three alternatives to experience, and not justone. Not just the one that you think is the most likely. Thatdiscipline of exploring multiple options is classic designersdiscipline. The designer doesnt believe theres a perfect solution.They believe that theres one that will just be more preferred byusers, and the users behavior will tell you which one that is.Joe: I think thats a great way of looking at it, because it is. Weend up sometimes making it a single one instead of going outthere with like three. I think its an excellent way of putting it.Tim: The rule of threes is obviously really human magic rightthere. If I go to my customer and I say, "Ive been working onthis thing and heres what I think it is." Go back to Dave Jarrettat Crowe Horwath. He used to take the client a 50-pagePowerPoint, and then say, "Hey, what do you think?" The clientlooks at this beautiful -- theyve thought of every question,theyve walked through every answer, and he says, "Boy, theyredoing this. It doesnt matter what I say. Theyve put a lot ofthought into this." And so he tends to say, "Yeah. I like it." Butthen when you build it, he may not use it, right. In the designthinking world, you come to him with three different story boards,and you say, "Hey, which of these is more interesting to you?"Now, theyre just sketches, and there are three of them, and soyou havent sent a signal to him that youre building any of them.Youve signaled that youre open to these three, and in fact if hesgot a fourth in his mind that you havent thought of, youreprobably open to that. So, its just a different degree of tolerancefor being in the unknown at the front end of the process thatoften can really set you free. Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  11. 11. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsA firm that a lot of us admire is Google. They test things thatthey dont think will work. You think, "Well, that sounds stupid."But Gmail is a classic 20 percent times opportunity or offeringthat they thought probably wouldnt work. Of course, look at theincredible popularity of Gmail.You know, the basic premise behind Gmail is what if you get freeemail, you let us see it, and a bot gets to read your emailmessages and serve up ads that you think will be relevant basedon what you were talking about in your email. Most people wouldsay, if you did a survey, "Well, thats just an invasion of privacy,and I dont think so." But look at the way Gmail turned out. Itdoes that. I use Gmail. It serves me ads based on reading mypersonal email messages that I send through Google, and I dontmind.Its just the idea of testing something that you think will fail, aslong as you make the test affordable. I think thats another key ofdesign thinking is, we like to place bets, but we like to keep themsmall. Right? Make the leaps of faith. Design thinking can helpyou make your leaps of faith smaller leaps. So you can learn veryquickly and say, "Oops, Im not going that way. Im going theother way."Joe: Design thinkings been around a while, hasnt it? I mean,whats bringing it to the surface now?Tim: I think its the economic times. I agree completely thatthere have been firms that have competed on design and haveused design thinking to solve problems, but in the 90s none of usreally needed it. You could grow by acquiring firms that weresimilar to yours and integrating them, right, through applyingLean and Six Sigma. You could grow by expanding geographicallyinto a market that you werent serving yet. You could get both ina way that was more mathematical and required less of a leap of Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  12. 12. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsfaith. Or, you could get growth where you could actually forecastthe ROI in advance and agree that its acceptable.All right, that growth engine for most companies just isntavailable anymore, right? The markets not growing at that rate.Weve got global saturation in most markets with the exceptionsmaybe of India and China. The growth rates just not there.So, youve got a guy like Jeffrey Immelt of GE, and if he tries todo what Jack Welch did, hell get fired because hes going to getsix or seven percent year on year growth. Hes got to dosomething else. The heyday of M&A, and Six Sigma, andOperational Excellence as giving you double digit growth is over.So, guys like Jeffrey Immelt and guys like A.G. Laffley at P&Gsaid, "I got to do something more than that." I think these werekind of the bellwether firms that said, "Hey, lets unleash designthinking and see if that could be a new engine of organic growththat gets us into the double digit growth that I promised myshareholders."Joe: Can I simplify it and say maybe its just because back thendemand exceeded supply, and now supply exceeds demand?Tim: Thats beautiful. And of course, the worlds also flat interms of the way the Internet makes distribution, especiallyanything thats IT based, extremely cost effective. Thats part ofthe same supply and demand phenomena. I think youve nailedit.Joe: Could that be a reason why design thinking has taken ahold in Europe earlier than it has in the U.S.?Tim: Yes. First of all, design thinking has an appeal to Europebecause design has an appeal way beyond what it has in the U.S.Europe has been very design centric. The design education ismore extensive. The amount of public money that gets spent on Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  13. 13. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsdesign is ten to one more than the way we use public money herein the U.S. We rely on the private markets to take care of theway government services work, and so, Europe, in general, ismuch more design forward and has a positive feeling aboutdesign. American business has been extremely efficiency orientedand competed on design until the last decade, with the exceptionof firms like Disney, perhaps, and Apple. But those have been theexception to the rule. I think were obviously realizing potential,and lots of American firms are competing based on customerexperience design and design thinking.Were changing our tune. Were not going to change how weinvest public money, I dont think in any meaningful way. Butwere certainly having a growing appetite for design thinking. Justto give you an example, theres a wonderful educational programin Chicago based at the Institute of Design, and theyre teachingpeople masters in design management, and every one of thesestudents is getting a job the day they walk out of the door.They cant expand the program, the D school at Stanford, and theCarnegie Mellons design school they just cant produce enoughgraduates. The industry is sucking them up at a 100 percent rate.You can clearly see the demand by businesses for skills that areoptimized for design thinking is easily outstripping the supplyfrom an educational standpoint.Joe: Tim, in your book you provided a framework, and I thinkthats an ideal framework to get into business managers, but doyou practice them ten tools? Are you using these on a regularbasis and are they just the surface? Do you use a lot more?Tim: Joe, I would say Im like a reformed smoker. I think theresnobody whos more rabid about anti-smoking than a reformedsmoker. Im a reformed non-design thinker. I like to get to theanswer quickly and get into execution surrounded by people whoare design trained. In the past eight years, Ive learned the Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  14. 14. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsdiscipline to always use the tools of design thinking. So, now itsa learned habit, and a very conscious habit. This is one of thechallenges a Six Sigma black belt has is, they have their habitsand theyve been very successful based on those habits. Designthinking is going to ask them to create some new habits.Truthfully, we use these tools everyday on our internal projectswhen theres no client. We apply them.I will say that I think the book lays them out in a way that mightbe artificially linear. Right? Visualization happens at each stage.Prototyping can happen at lots of different stages and forsimplicity and clarity weve left them it in a single place in thebook. So I think, as you practice with the tools in the book, youllsay, "Oh, I can be prototyping this thing way early."I think thats absolutely right. You might find that youre usingsome tools in multiple places along the series of four questions.But we use them all everyday. In terms of are there more to thetools that are there, the basic ones? Well get you were you needto be on every project.Joe: How did they develop? Its something that you just workfrom? Because mind mapping, per se, isnt the Tony Buzan typeof mind mapping that you imagine. Its a little different than that.Tim: There are more tools, potentially. But we like to keep itstraightforward so that it encourages a proxy manager to step inand try it. We polled a bunch of design practitioners in greatdesign firms that are prime companies and people we admire. Welooked at the tools that we use, and this was, to us, the mostsimple and elegant set of tools. I will say the mind mapping, Ihave a synonym for that, which is sense making. So, imagineyoure a Six Sigma black belt and most of the data that youvebeen processing in an upper lower control limits, or a design ofexperiments, youre going to have this quantitative data andtheres a formula for making sense of it. Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  15. 15. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIn the design world, a lot of our data is going to be in manyvariable forms. When we go observe customers interacting withsomething, theyre going to look at clicks on a website, weregoing to test language and see what different language occurs topeople. So, well look at verbatim key words that theyre using.So now you get this big hodge podge of data and we need tomake some decisions. Theres no algorithm that tells you how todo that. So, mind mapping is the process that we lay out in thebook that says the only way to make sense of multiple data setsthat is mostly qualitative is to lay it all out in front of you like ayard sale, and get in a room and start generating potentialthemes with a small group of people that are very immersed in it.To me, its the signature aspect of design thinking that tells youyoure really stretching yourself if youve got three or four, fivedifferent sources of data an insight that you need to make senseof. Its the reason why design firms often occupy these openspaces with huge white boards and tackable surfaces. The iconicimage of innovation is a big mess on the whiteboard with Post-itnotes and photographs and a handful of people pulled closethinking about what it might mean. It is an absolute key part ofthe process.What I realize is you dont have to get the answer exactly right.What you have to get is a new hypothesis that you think theother guys dont have. Thats what you have to get to. Then youcan go test the hypothesis in your prototypes with yourcustomers. If they dont hold up, you can come back to the yardsale you have spread out on the wall and ask yourself thequestion, "Hey, now we have new data, what direction does thatnudge us in?"Its a very iterative process. Taking a few bites of the apple in theconference room, getting back out in the field with customers,coming back in the conference room. Again, it may not be the Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  16. 16. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemslinear process that helps you to calculate your upper and lowercontrol limits, but its a very human process. We all get it. Weveall done this. Its really natural to explore different alternativesand to recalculate once you get some feedback on one of thosealternatives.Joe: What I liked about the book, probably more so thananything else, is that it took some of that messiness away fromdesign thinking that I always see. Like you mentioned, thepictures of it is just all these guys with Post-it notes all over thewall, and its kind of like, "Where do I go from here?" Its OK, butbeing that left-brained guy, I need some structure to do it for me.I think thats what that framework gave me. It gave me somestructure and build upon that to be able to go from point A topoint B, but still maintained that sense of, that it is a hypothesisall the way through and it continues to be a hypothesis.Tim: Yeah, Im really comfortable that weve got that part right,and the trick of it is to get a person who likes to go to hiscustomer with something really perfect and really buttoned up,and I think the one place it takes real courage is to say, Imgonna go see my customer and show them something that ismakeshift, something that is cobbled together, something thatdoesnt pretend to be ready for prime time. Thats why Googlehas done us all a great favor. The idea of beta is cool, right? Tenyears ago, beta said we hadnt done your homework. Today, putsomething out on beta says, "I trust my customers to know whatit is that they want and to guide me in the right direction." But Isay what Google does isnt necessarily what every firm is ready todo and thats one reason why I love David Jarrett at CroweHorwath. He just had the guts, and his partner said, "I think yourclients are going to laugh at you." Right? And they said, "Imwilling to take a risk."He went out and showed his clients cartoons. One of the thingsthey showed was an inventory solution for automobile Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  17. 17. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsdealerships, and he had a cartoon of a bunch of red cars and abunch of blue cars, and one of the red cars was saying, "Imgoing to be stuck here forever." And the blue car says, "Im onlygoing to be here for an hour and a half. Im the color and themodel thats the most popular." It was to lay out the idea thatthey didnt have good information about which types of cars werethe most likely to sell, and they were getting stuck with a bunchof slow moving inventory on their lots.Just that simple little cartoon that he took out to discuss apotential inventory management solution was all he needed toget his car dealership customers to start sharing ideas for whatthe new inventory management solution could be. That takes realguts, to go to your clients with a cartoon of two cars talking toeach other because I think he does call for a little bit of courage.All of us have customers who trust us like that.Joe: I think it takes really a different mindset for a sales personto handle this type of thinking, doesnt it?Tim: It is a different mindset. For every one of us, I think, to beas professionals, to be comfortable not knowing the answer.Thats, I think, the crux of it and so maybe if nothing else it justsays theres a certain amount of self-honesty, right? That Imtrying to solve a tough problem? It doesnt lend itself to analytictools because theres no existing source of data that I cancalculate my most likely future outcome with. Its still myresponsibility to do something about it, getting comfortable thatIm going to start by not knowing the answer. The book says,"Hey, so dont start with your most crucial customer count, whereyoure already on probation." It says, "Start with an internalcustomer that you trust, that trusts you, that will work with youon this. Pretty soon youll find that you will get your sea legsreally quickly. Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  18. 18. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: Youre supposed to be the expert. I would say you have tohave enough confidence to say that, "Yeah, Im an expert, butIm not an expert about your business. So let me learn moreabout yours."Tim: A part your business is they say, "Thats one of the toughchallenges. Were going to solve this. Were going to figure it outtogether." Inventory management for a car dealership is always acore process, right? And yet it still isnt solved beautifully becausethey still have slow moving inventory. Dave Jarrett knew thatthat was a place that he could go, and that they were wellprepared, and both he and his customer were going to exploresome unknown areas. I think it takes a certain amount ofcourage, and so not everybody is going to want to jump in, butcompanies dont need everybody in their firm to go crazy duringdesign thinking. We just need the people who are responsible forgrowth, to have permission, and to have the tools to do designthinking. Not everybodys responsible for growth and so I think atP&G theyre not trying to get a 100 percent of their employees tobe design thinkers. But they sure like to have 15 percent. Thatsprobably a good way to think about it.Joe: A take-off on that is then, how does an organizationsupport the use of design thinking?Tim: Its not native, for sure, in organization. Big organizationsare built for control risk mitigation, for executing the existingbusiness, and yet as we found in the GE example, if they juststick to the knitting theyre only going to grow at five to sixpercent a year and thats going to get a CEO fired. I thinksomewhere you going to have a guy who says, "We have to growand Im prepared to take prudent risks to make that happen." Ithink thats one thing, thats just to make a commitment at thetop level to innovation and growth, which means accepting acertain tolerance for failure, and especially of constructive failurethat you learn from. A lot of us have actually heard that message Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  19. 19. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsfrom our senior leaders so I think were in a good place as aneconomy from that stand point.But a second thing is to start to think of design thinking as toolsand not a philosophy, because its very hard to implement aphilosophy if you cant make it tangible and real to the practicingmanager. As I said, I came out of Georgia Tech in the late 80sand I taught people in a factory floor how to compute upper andlower control limits who had not had a high school degree. Itaught them how to do problem solving using the Ishikawadiagram, how to use a Kanban to communicate with thedownstream business process that they were connected to. Theseare people without a high school degree, many of them, and sothose tools work. Theres no doubt. Theyre practical.Well, innovation is not there yet. Were not at that level where, abible like Dr. Deming’s or a bible like Dr. Jurans bible, that youcould turn to and say that this is now reduced to practice. Thatwas part of our goal, was to say, "If we cant turn design thinkinginto tools that a motivated, smart manager can use, then it willnever become the economic gift to society that quality hasbecome."Quality has been an amazing success story in the world in termsof what it has contributed to productivity and the well-being ofpeople in our society. Its amazing. I dont know that designthinking will achieve that, but it has the same potential. Thats abig part of this book, was to say, "Lets try to start the dialogueand make it a more pragmatic one about tools and methods thateveryday people can use without going to Stanford Design Schoolor the Illinois Institute of Technology.Joe: I think thats a great message, Tim. I agree with you.People and businesses typically get started in quality through thetools. Thats how they get started and thats how people learn it. Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  20. 20. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsThen you go to the next level where you really start building aculture but without the tools you cant jump into the culture.Tim: I mean, its a big field. If you want to change youreorganization, our organizations are still made up of people andthat person who needs to say, "Hey, the skills I brought that gotme here are not what youre asking me for now. Youre askingme to do design thinking now. I wasnt trained in that, and sohow can I picture myself being successful in that world?" If youwant them to get on board, youve got to put a tool in their handsand let them demonstrate their confidence in themselves. We didthat with quality. When I came out of Georgia Tech and went intomanufacturing, I thought everyone was going to be doing it.Instead we had a VP of production and a VP of quality, and theyhad an argument on the loading dock on the 30th of the monthas to whether we were going to ship that order or not. And theVP of quality said, "Its not high enough quality because Iinspected it." And the VP of production said, "I got to make myorder."It was an adversarial system, and here we are 25 years later andthe quality is all baked in because at our workstation we self-inspected and we fulfilled with a Kanban, and we got singleminute exchanges. All of these amazing breakthroughs havehappened in that time period. So I think, well, innovation andgrowth, design thinking is not there yet. But, I think if we take a25-year view of the potential, it can be an even greater gift to theworld if we can reduce it to practice, really have a constructivedialogue about which tools are working the best and how todeploy them.Joe: Is there something that you would like to add to thisconversation that maybe I didnt ask?Tim: I have a sense that theres a change in the leadershipphilosophy of U.S. organizations that will be necessary. This Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  21. 21. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsappetite for affordable experimentation and this idea that themost competitive company, it knows how to pick where to learnand how to learn afford-ably. Thats still truly not really codifiedand taught in schools and so its hard for me to picture how thatchange happens. Clearly some of it might be generational. Thereare those of us in charge that grew up during the M&A and SixSigma era of the 90s, and well pass the mantle of leadership topeople who grew up in the 2000s, and maybe that will be part ofthe answer. I think part of it is going to have to be to get theacademic world to support the research around leadershipenvironments that encourage experimentation and failure. That,to me, seems to be one of the things were doing to make itharder instead of easier. Maybe I should say, that seems to bepart of one of the missions is to create this really solid groundedacademic understanding of permission.Joe: I think that people are already doing it though, Tim,because my take on it is thats what the gaming industry hasdone with our kids. With the Wiis and the Xboxs andgamefication is that trial and error and hypothesis is thats howthem kids learn, and thats become part of our culture.Tim: I think its really interesting, play is becoming more part ofour culture than it was in the 80s and 90s and play mightactually be -- I think youre on to something -- play mightactually be the gateway to design thinking. Because if you thinkabout it, I want to conduct a learning experiment, I can do that ifI think of it as, "Im just playing with this and its not going tocost that much and Ill learn something and then well takeanother run at it based on what we want."Joe: Thats how theyve adjusted the learning. I mean theyvegrown up with Mario, Mario and Luigi beating against a wallfinding an opening. Thats all trial and error. It is how they learnthe game. Look at the use of instruction manuals anymore. Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  22. 22. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsTim: Yes, I totally see it. The 25 year horizon that Im talkingabout will be heavily fueled by a much more open attitudetowards constructive experimentation and playful exploration,and you can only see how that will be great for Lean and SixSigma just as it will be for design thinking. Ultimately, I dont seedesign thinking as the panacea thats going to stamp out all ofour misguided notions about how business works. We know a lotabout how business works, right? I just say its another set oftools. Personally I feel like Im in an exciting time period whereits struggling to be born in the mass market. It existswonderfully in the design department, right, but the designdepartment isnt in charge of too much in American businesstoday, and the idea about design thinking isnt, "We just need tohave 10x larger design departments." But the idea, its the samething for quality. Weve had that VP of quality and he had a staff,and the answer to quality wasnt to quadruple the size of hisstaff. The answer was for him to put himself out of business bymaking every production worker their own quality inspector.Thats going to be the answer for design thinking, too. If youhave every, ultimately, every worker who has as many growthresponsibilities using design thinking to solve problems, inaddition to analytic methods, then that will be an amazing future.Maybe 25 years is too long a horizon, Joe, as you talked aboutthe generational change in philosophy. Maybe it will happen in 15years. That will be exciting.Joe: I think there is a possibility of that. Well, I would like tothank you very much, Tim. I thoroughly enjoyed theconversation. This podcast will be available in the Business901website, and also on the Business901 iTunes store. So, thanksagain.Tim: Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to share mythoughts. Its been fun. Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901
  23. 23. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Ph: 260-438-0411 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: Web/Blog: Twitter: @business901 What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joes ability to combine his expertise with "out of the box" thinking is unsurpassed. He has always delivered quickly, cost effectively and with ingenuity. A brilliant mind that is always a pleasureto work with." James R.Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive company providingdirection in areas such as Lean Marketing, Product Marketing, ProductLaunches and Re-Launches. As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt,Business901 provides and implements marketing, project and performanceplanning methodologies in small businesses. The simplicity of a singleflexible model will create clarity for your staff and as a result betterexecution. My goal is to allow you spend your time on the need versus theplan.An example of how we may work: Business901 could start with aconsulting style utilizing an individual from your organization or a virtualassistance that is well versed in our principles. We have capabilities toplug virtually any marketing function into your process immediately. Asproficiencies develop, Business901 moves into a coach’s role supporting theprocess as needed. The goal of implementing a system is that the processeswill become a habit and not an event. Business901 Podcast Opportunity Expert Status Design Thinker exposed as Left Brain Dominant Copyright Business901