Design Thinking is Killing Creativity

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This presentation explores the concept of Design Thinking, some of its problems, and how we can fix them.

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  • Njce! Thanks for sharing.
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  • Interested to know whether the perspective might have shifted since this was presented considering even some of the academics who shared this view have no changed their view?
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  • Many thanks for a reflective presentation on a process that you like! I will raise three points to underline:
    1- It will be valuable to project your arguments to design thinking as a method of inquiry to ill-defined problems. For products and services, I agree, designers make short-cut assumptions (heuristic propositions) at an early stage and it loosen up the process for possible quick wins. Adductive thinking and associations, 'what if' as used by design, along with tacit knowledge, learning by doing as per the Bauhaus dogma, the bread and butter for design ... Then again, does designers identify and answer a human need or they assume/answer what users 'want' as you posted. In CONTRADICTION, the Edison example in Tim Brown's article presented an innovator with a system, to answer the need of 'taking us away from the dark'. To my knowledge, the invention was based on his need to have light in his lab. He didn't ask the users yet he developed in his lab with other collaborators. I liaise the Edison model with a smaller scale platform, yet holds the same principles. Steven Jobs and the Itunes model that disrupted the industry, how we buy/listen to music firstly. he didn't ask users too.
    2- I question fundamentally the idea that design thinking is HOLISTIC.
    It is holistic as a method to question an issue from various aspects, disciplines, point of departures, user, stakeholder, .. hence the mode of inquiry is holistic per se. Yet it turns a blind eye (design thinking for products and services innovation, and not for social challenges) on designing artifacts and nurturing the consumeristic festival that abuses our resources. This dichotomy intrigues me, to be holistic in the process but not in the output.
    3- I do believe that all disciplines need to revert back to human values. Unfortunately, the economic value is what matters, driven by greed. So, we leave disciplines to be only concerned with their economic interests and turn blind eye to systemic problems generated from our disciplinary interests. Hence, shall we define design and designers, business, engineers to serve the dollar value and their respective clients, while maintaining business ethics on the job, but not being ethical in their contributions? that reverts back to idea 2. I agree with you on the naming, it is defined as an integrative process, yet retains the name of the whole to one (yet important) ingredient of the recipe.
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  • @richgregory Richard, I made the assumption that the term 'process' in the context of the topic being discussed implies repeatability, a model or a template for others to follow so that they can begin to reap the benefits of following the steps proposed by others. Processes that are never repeated are random events, some of which are chaotic in nature. Waterfalls, soccer, jazz. That aside, you and I agree. The design thinking 'process' is never the same twice. What might come close to repeatable is the mindset and ground rules set forth at the beginning and followed by an individual or shared by a group. I call this the 'environment'. The best we may have to settle for is control and repeatability of the 'environment' (with ongoing tweaks). All designers know that when you start the clock there is no predicting where the journey will take you.
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  • As a designer who works with the concept of strategic design thinking, Id like to add two points.

    Firstly, design thinking is indeed a process, but it’s never the same process twice. Each client, each project demands a custom view to make sense of it and to draw the boundaries. So as a process, it shouldn’t become a sort of ‘dead zone’ where thought ends up as, well, thought.

    Secondly, it may lead to lack of action because the scoping and ideation has lead to bad potential outcomes. So, yes, dump the project. Or revisit, reposition, reimagine and find the way to the right result.

    Then take productive action.
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  • Design is a Noun and a Verb - recap
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  • Design Thinking is Killing Creativity

    1. by Brian Ling, 16 October 2010<br />Design Thinking is Killing Creativity<br />
    2. Hello!My name is BrianI’m a Design Strategist at Design Sojourn<br />
    3. DesignSojourn.com<br />Visit me at my online home.<br />
    4. How it all started?<br />
    5. How it all started?<br />Published 31 March 2010<br />49 Comments on my Blog Post<br />5,756 Visitors to Date<br />
    6. Contents<br />What is Design Thinking?<br />What are the Problems of Design Thinking?<br />How can we Fix Design Thinking<br />
    7. What is Design Thinking?<br />
    8. They say, it’s the Best Thing Since…<br />Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60in3/2338247189/<br />
    9. Everyone is Talking about Design Thinking<br />
    10. There is a shift in the dominant logic of industrial to people orientation. Where improving the quality of life is the new consideration and competitive advantage.<br />
    11. Why Design Thinking?<br />
    12. What is Business Thinking<br />Business schools tend to focus on inductivethinking (based on directly observable facts) and deductivethinking (logic and analysis, typically based on past evidence)…<br />Proctor & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley<br />Lafley 2008, The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation Quoted in Business Week 28 July 2008<br />
    13. What is Design Thinking?<br />Design schools emphasize abductive thinking – imagining what could be possible. This new thinking approach helps us challenge assumed constraints and add to ideas, versus discouraging them.<br />Proctor & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley<br />Lafley 2008, The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation Quoted in Business Week 28 July 2008<br />
    14. Why Design Thinking?<br />While common methods of thought include deductive and inductive reasoning, Design Thinking embraces these but adds abductivereasoning. Abductive reasoning is effectively embracing a posture of "Why not?", but with a layer of rationale.<br />Paula Thornton 31 August, 2007. (corante.com)<br />
    15. What are the Problems of Design Thinking?<br />Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/donaldmacleod/4300324861/<br />
    16. Design Thinking is not Design Doing!<br />
    17. Design Thinking is not Design Doing!It has applications beyond objects and into systems.(getting fluffy…)<br />
    18. Design Thinking is a Process (Mess?)<br />
    19. Design Thinking is a Process<br />They say it’s about:<br />The User<br />Iteration <br />Validation<br />
    20. Design Thinking is a Process<br />
    21. Design Thinking is a Process<br />Design is as much a process as it is an end product. The process should be simple.<br />Joe Duffy Oct 12, 2009<br />
    22. Design Thinking is a Process<br />
    23. Design Thinking is a Process<br />
    24. Design Thinking is a Process<br />
    25. Design Thinking is a Process<br />Designing Interactions<br />Bill Moggridge<br />
    26. Design Thinking is a Process<br />
    27. Design Thinking is a Process<br />“Squiggle”<br />Damien Newman 2006<br />
    28. Design Thinking is a Mess<br />It is very frustrating to talk to several experts with diverging opinions when you are trying to learn about what to you is virgin territory. How can you expect “civilians” to know how to move forward?<br />Rita Sue reflects on a Talk about Design in Business<br />Such diversity of opinion about the same subject. No wonder it is such a hard job to explain all this to people in organizations who haven’t a clue. <br />
    29. Design Thinking is a (Confusing) Mindset<br />
    30. Design Thinking Crossed Mountains<br />Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/krayker/3936612610/<br />
    31. Design Thinking Meld Minds<br />Transcended the “Language” Barrier<br />Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bamboo-adventure/3530133273/<br />
    32. Design Thinking Meld Minds<br />…the conversation was about how designers needed to learn the language and culture of business to make managers understand the power of innovation. It was the same conversation I heard a decade ago. The same two dozen company CEOs “get it”, plus a few new ones, and the rest still don’t.<br />Bruce Nussbaum June 30th 2010, fastcodesign.com<br />
    33. Design Thinking Picked-up Bad Habits<br />Data to Validate not Predict<br />Benchmarking the New against the Known<br />Relying on Business Metrics<br />Asking People what they Want<br />Optimizing not Innovating<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/bmhkim/4253242349/<br />
    34. Design Thinking Blinded by Science<br />
    35. Design Thinking is Just Thinking<br />But note that we have had breakthrough ideas and creative thinking throughout recorded history, long before designers entered the scene. When we examine the process in detail, what is being labeled as "design thinking" is what creative people in all disciplines have always done. <br />Don Norman 25 June, 2010 (core77.com)<br />The myth? That designers possess some mystical, creative thought process that places them above all others in their skills at creativegroundbreaking thought.<br />
    36. Business Orthodoxies Resist Change<br />
    37. Constraints to Creativity<br />Common Causes<br /><ul><li> Accessibility to diversified skills-Lack of expertise and tools and processes- Relationshipwith appropriate partners / suppliers- Collaborative culture is overshadowed by corporatepolitics</li></ul>People<br /><ul><li>Ability to fail, and budget for it.- Complacency</li></ul>- Low cross-functional communication or cooperation- Command-and-control management style<br />Culture<br /><ul><li> Distracted with immediate real or perceived crisis (e.g. quarterly results)- Not given compelling case for investment (e.g. marketability, finance,customer loyalty)- New executives or nearing the end of their term</li></ul>Leadership<br />Organizational Challenges<br />
    38. Technology<br />Design <br />Business<br />Silos in Corporate Culture<br />
    39. Motorola bucked the industry trend in 2004, by introducing the ultra thin Razr.<br />Successfully navigated 3 key challenges:<br />Avoided consensus based decision making<br />Avoided temptation to layer in additional features<br />Did not involve phone operators in the development<br />Geoffrey Frost (Motorola CMO) 4 lesson’s of the Razr: <br />It was a bet being made, not covered<br />No compromise was the standard operating procedure – no trade-offs<br />We did not try to predict the market based on history, we bet if it was good enough it would make its own market<br />We put the best, brightest, craziest & most passionate people on it<br />Defying Corporate Gravity – The Razr<br />
    40. Design Thinking as a Happy Meal<br />
    41. Design Thinking as a Happy Meal<br />Packaged Deployment<br />Over-emphasis on the process not solution<br />Bogged down by process<br />Learnt in Rote<br />Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tubedesign/2131802450/<br />
    42. Design ~<br />solutions come from any part of the process<br />is an iterative activity<br />has broad guidelines<br />has no fixed process<br />Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/silverbromide/50079343/<br />
    43. Did Design Thinking Killed Design?<br />When it required:<br />Structure <br />Repeatability<br />Reliability<br />Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexhughson/50151744/ <br />
    44. Design Thinking, one of the Many Tools?<br />Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennbridgens/4651796254/<br />
    45. The Way Humans Think<br />
    46. Sometimes, We are our own worst Enemy<br />
    47. Errors in Reasoning<br />Source: Wikipedia<br />A cognitive bias is the human tendency to make systematic errors in certain circumstances based on cognitive factors rather than evidence.<br />
    48. Examples of Errors in Reasoning<br />Not Invented Here — the tendency to ignore that a product or solution already exists, because its source is seen as an "enemy" or as "inferior".<br />Outcome bias — the tendency to judge a decision by its eventual outcome instead of based on the quality of the decision at the time it was made.<br />Status quo bias — the tendency for people to like things to stay relatively the same.<br />Bandwagon effect — the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to herd behaviour.<br />Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases<br />
    49. How Can We Fix Design Thinking?<br />Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bitzcelt/4787422150/<br />
    50. For the Record: I’m not against Design Thinking!<br />Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tearsandrain/2868003710/<br />
    51. Design Thinking is Over-Hyped<br />
    52. The Higher You are, the Harder…<br />Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/racketrx/3884955834/<br />
    53. Design Thinking + Design Doing<br />Design Thinking cannot really be separated from design doing when the design problem can be characterized as a wicked problem. To be able to generate “creative” solutions you need to have some kind of artistry (Donald Schön’s term), this artistry is acquired through lots of practice (reflection in-action and on-action). A couple of workshop with post-it are just not enough to turn you into a designer.<br />Ariel Guers (interacciones.org)<br />
    54. Design Thinking + Design Doing<br />Designers think in a very different way than what Design Thinking puts forward. Designers usually consider a “very limited” set of alternatives and develop guiding principles right from the start. They don’t postpone judgment and decision making in order to open-up to new alternatives, they rapidly create a rough (partial) solution (to a partially defined problem) and move forward to see what else they can learn about the problem, through iterations.<br />Ariel Guers (interacciones.org)<br />
    55. We should remember that designers learn by doing, not by learning and practicing a theory, designing involves a lot more tacit knowledge than in other areas of business. It’s therefore hard to believe that senior managers can change their thinking habits of a lifetime after a workshop or two working with designers. And, to be frank, to suggest as much devalues what designers do.<br />Roberto Verganti @Core77 <br />(core77.com/blog/featured_items/design_thinkingeverywhere_and_nowhere_reflections_on_the_big_re-think__16277.asp)<br />Design Thinking + Design Doing<br />
    56. Design Thinking + Design Doing<br />A key factor in creating good design that really does make a difference is great designers. These talented individuals are few and far between and provide critical competitive advantage. Let’s forget about Design Thinking as a magic process, and focus on how designers and managers should best work together to deliver great quality outputs. <br />Roberto Verganti @Core77 <br />(core77.com/blog/featured_items/design_thinkingeverywhere_and_nowhere_reflections_on_the_big_re-think__16277.asp)<br />
    57. Conclusion<br />Design Thinking has not produced the results the business has been hoping for, and despite the best efforts, design thinking will continue to be something only a few can do well.<br />
    58. Conclusion<br />This is probably why after half a decade; the companies that are creating innovative products continue to be the usual suspects. The same old brands that have been doing so even before Design Thinking had its day.<br />
    59. So How Can We Fix Design Thinking?<br />Teach Design Thinking with Design Doing<br />Focus on solutions and don’t get bogged down by the process<br />Get acquainted but leave implementing Design Thinking activities to the experts<br />Call Design Thinking something else<br />
    60. Thank You!<br />More info at DesignSojourn.com<br />Email me: brian@designsojourn.com<br />
    61. Thanks!<br />Q and A <br />

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