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Design to Grow: How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility (and How You Can Too) Hardcover – February 10, 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“What explains Coca-Cola’s worldwide market dominance? David Butler and Linda Tischler argue that it’s a result of attention to design details at every level of the organization, in every product line, in every country, by every employee. Whatever the size of your enterprise, you’ll find in this book a master class in problem-solving, in cross-cultural marketing, and in decision-making.” (Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive)

“Kudos to Coke’s leaders for embracing the power of designers like David Butler not only to make their products more accessible, but to improve how the entire business operates. In Design to Grow, Butler and Linda Tischler provide a step-by-step guide on how to translate design principles for lasting value. And they do it as only good designers would: simply and with a compelling story.” (Beth Comstock, CMO, GE)

“Big and fast, complex and focused, large scale and agile. These seem like oxymorons in the world of business innovation. Using examples from the history of Coca-Cola, David Butler and Linda Tischler show how it is possible to embrace these tensions through the use of design. Reading Design to Grow has caused me to think differently about my company. I am confident it will do the same for how you think about yours.” (Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO)

Design to Grow walks the reader down a brilliant, gentle path to understand how one of the world’s most important brands is applying design to transform its global enterprise. It shows readers how to reach extraordinary and often infernally complex accomplishments—like scale and agility, a seemingly impossible combination—in a way that isn't magical or exclusive, but rather a systematic approach to creative thinking. What’s more, it does what every great design strives to do—it makes it look easy.” (Bruce Mau, Co-Founder, Massive Change Network)

“David Butler and Linda Tischler demystify the transformation organizations face in this hyper-complex era. Now is the time to become more agile, more focused, more resilient. And a major key that can unlock that potential is design. Design to Grow is a practical guide leaders need to understand design, unleash creativity in all levels of an organization, and make it drive the right action. It’s a book you’ll come back to again and again as you design the future.” (Keith Yamashita, Chairman, SY/Partners, and a kyu collective member)

“Butler and Tischler’s book is an embodiment of how design is all about actionable opposites. They argue that design can help big companies, which have already mastered scale, learn to be agile—which breaks with common sense corporate wisdom. So, too, they say, design can help small companies and startups, which are already agile, achieve scale. Design to Grow shows exactly how Coca-Cola did it (without giving away the secret recipe to that brown fizzy liquid that we all love). And they lay out the principles that any company can use to do the same.” (John Maeda, Design Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and author of Redesigning Leadership)

About the Author

David Butler is the Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The Coca-Cola Company and is responsible for Coca-Cola’s Accelerator Program designed to generate early-stage, high-growth startups. Under David’s leadership, Coca-Cola has been recognized with numerous design awards, including the prestigious Grand Prix from the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. In 2009, David was recognized by Fast Company as a “Master of Design” and by Fortune for its 2013 Executive Dream Team. David is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Design and Innovation.

Linda Tischler is an award-winning editor at Fast Company magazine, where she writes about the intersection of design and business. She helped launch Fast Company’s design website, FastCoDesign.com, which is now the web’s largest design site. Prior to joining Fast Company, Tischler was an editor at Boston Magazine, where she initiated the New England Design Awards. She has also written for Metropolitan Home, The Boston Globe, and Huffington Post and held editing and writing jobs at the Boston Herald and Microsoft’s Sidewalk.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451671822
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451671827
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2015
Format: Hardcover
What is "design on purpose"? According to David Butler and Linda Tischler in one of several summaries of key points (Pages 209-211), design on purpose involves five separate but interdependent initiatives:

1. Connect everything you design to your brands. Firms such as Apple ("think different"), Nike ("personal empowerment"J, and BMW ("the ultimate driving machine"), clarify the brand idea/proposition for each brand, in plain speak, and use it to drive their design process in their briefs, concepts, and executions. So must you, also.

2. Clearly define visual identity systems for your brands and use them to connect all of your communication tools. "To get the most impact and scale, we should clearly define the visual identity system (brand or promotion look and feel) at the strategy stage and then use it to connect all of our communication tools together to create a total brand experience."

3. Create design management tools and guiding principles to ensure a high level of quality across your system. "We need to create clarity for our brands by creating tools that make good decisions easy and bad decisions difficult."

4. Use design to build more consistency between activation programs, licensing, and promotions (both locally and globally). "We can get much more efficiency and create more impact by thinking more holistically about design. The good news is that sometimes we are very strategic with our design. The bad news is that often it is almost by chance and never connected to anything else."

5. Link your existing, regional design teams with corporate to achieve better follow-through.
Read more ›
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In my continuous study of business, strategy, big producers, internet. CocaCola is special , we all see Coke around but maybe we not pay attention to the strategy of this big company . David in his experience at the company guive some good views of how the company have been grown to operate in 200 cowtrys and some of the challenges thay have to solv . The born and growth of a giant. I am Mineral Water producer and can evaluate the grate chalenges thay have day by day . How thay made ​​it ? Grate experts ! What comes to your mind when you think USA? 1- CocaCola 2- Jeans 3- Burgers? .... CocaCola !
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As the leader of a design team in a CPG company, I found Design to Grow to be extremely inspiring. It has armed me with numerous examples from the experiences of one of the world’s most admired brands (Coca-Cola) on how they used design thinking to scale globally and yet remain agile. David brings to life many of the common challenges that designers face (especially in-house creative groups), but that we sometimes struggle to articulate. He outlines simple steps of Simplify, Standardize & Integrate and how these helped him achieve success over the last decade at Coca-Cola.

After reading Design to Grow, I gave copies to key Executives and other design leaders in the company. One Executive came to me later to discuss how fascinated they were with the concept that design thinking is not exclusive to a small group of “specialists”, but rather something that can be applied by anyone in an organization to solve almost any challenge. “Design is not just decoration, but a way of thinking that connects disparate elements to develop a solution.” For designers looking to champion design thinking within an organization, this book will be an essential tool in your cause.
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If you ever heard about Design Thinking and want to learn how it can be applied to your business, no matter what size it is, this book is for you.

Coca-Cola has been a key part of the American culture since it was created at the end of the 19th century. You don't see too many companies with a large history of success. This book presents practical examples on how the author was helping to reshape parts of the organization and lessons anyone can use elsewhere.

It is an enjoyable reading it and I will put it as a must after you read Tim Brown and Roger Martin books.
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A useful summary of the latest management thinking on innovation (design thinking, Eric Ries Lean Startup, Steve Blank customer development, open innovation, Business Model Canvas), illustrated with stories from Coca Cola.

Startups want to scale and large companies want to innovate and be agile and grow (and avoid being disrupted). A startup has agility, but to scale it needs to simplify, standardize, and integrate (like creating a "Lamborghini"). A big company has scale, but to grow it needs to learn, build, and measure (by creating a modular "Lego" system). Large companies need to take a big picture view and make some parts fixed, make other parts flexible, and be open to crowd engagement. Design is taking the big picture view and choosing what's fixed and what's flexible.
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Great help for anyone looking to scale an innovation within a large organization fast.
This book gives ideas as well as a structured template to scale fast and build agility into a large system.

I found - Simplify, Standardize and Integrate to build Scale - a good method any one can put to use immediate.
Plan Backward for agility is an innovative idea from the authors. Instead of coming up with a plan and measuring its results, start with results and form your plan around them.
Designing your company as a modular system is a good practical idea for creating speed and flexibility.
Like Lego blocks add, subtract and reconfigure parts fast to meet the changing market demands.

Overall enjoyed reading this book and found it suitable for immediate practical application.
Besides its a lucid and interesting read with many real life examples.

Would recommend highly for anyone looking to ignite innovation within a large system and scale fast with agility
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