The problem with good design is that as a finished product, it tends to efface the process that led to it. Master painters and sculptors often made dozens of studies before creating the celebrated works we see in museums --- and we need to follow a similar process before we can expect to produce anything good or beautiful.
I dislike this book. The title promises so much, and then the author tries to stuff in as many vignettes as possible, giving short shrift to each, as well as to the overall message. Since every story employing [the author's firm] IDEO or a "design team" was a smashing success, the argument goes, the author's processes must be the right way to stimulate design thinking. What about the flip side of the story? Why isn't there an analysis of design failures?
Fortunately, the author summarizes the main process points in the final 15 pages of the book in CEO-talk: "begin at the beginning", "take a human-centered approach", "fail early, fail often", "get professional help", "share the inspiration", "blend big and small projects", "budget to the pace of innovation", "find talent any way you can", "design for the cycle", "don't ask what? ask why?", "open your eyes", "make it visual", "build on the ideas of others", "demand options", "balance your portfolio", "design a life".
While reading this book, I found that "design team" could often be replaced by "consultant". The author does not describe what separates mediocre design from great design; nor how to identify a good design team.
The author describes his "butterfly test", where people vote for ideas by affixing post-it notes next to items posted on the wall. This is essentially a public ballot --- a cute idea, which will only work in organizations where people won't be swayed by how others have voted; otherwise, wisdom-of-crowds benefits won't accrue.