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Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers (Columbia Business School Publishing) [Kindle Edition]

Tim Ogilvie , Jeanne Liedtka
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie educate readers in one of the hottest trends in business development: "design thinking," or the ability to turn abstract ideas into practical applications for maximal business growth. Jeanne Liedtka's recent book, The Catalyst: How YOU Can Lead Extraordinary Growth, was named a Top Innovation and Design Thinking Book by Business Week. Tim Ogilvie has been hailed a visionary for his pioneering contributions to service innovation, business model innovation, and customer experience design.

Liedtka and Ogilvie cover the mindset, techniques, and vocabulary of design thinking, unpack the mysterious connection between design and growth, and teach managers, in a straightforward way, how to exploit design's exciting potential. Exemplified by Apple and the success of their elegant products, and cultivated by high profile design firms such as IDEO, design thinking unlocks creative right brain capabilities to solve a range of problems. This approach has become a necessary component of successful business practice, helping managers turn abstract concepts into everyday tools that grow business while minimizing risk.

Editorial Reviews


This is an eye-opening book that will reveal the action-based approach to design thinking, the series of inaccurate assumptions made in most business thinking, and how to become better at recognizing and strategizing around opportunities that exist within not only our core business, but other avenues as well.


[This] book is rich with information on each tool, taking you through the elements clearly and crisply. If design thinking intrigues you, this would be a good place to start.

(Harvey Schachter Globe & Mail)

Anyone wishing to get up to speed on design thinking by actually test-driving the methodology on their own will find great value in this tutorial-in-a-book

(Matthew May AMEX OPEN Forum)

A fine survey of a hot business trend.... Highly recommended.

(The Midwest Book Review)


This intelligent how-to follow-up to the first wave of popular design books will serve as a useful guide to going through a design project from start to finish.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure who the target audience is... May 6, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My expectations for this book were quite high -- I wanted the promised thinking tool kit for managers in a fun-to-read package as advertised in the book title.

I was a little disappointed. It is a good read, and the authors did a nice job of making the book visually compelling. I was disappointed in the depth of the content though. The authors presented what I felt was a very surface-level explanation of the design process. The primary "tool" was a phased approach to design that separated creativity from concept development from sales pitch: not exactly a revolutionary design strategy.

I am struggling a little bit with the question "who would I recommend the book to?" It is generally well-written, and the illustrative stories are also kind of interesting. In all fairness, some of the organizing outlines are also useful. However, it is too surface-level to be useful to an expert audience, and it won't really help novice designers grow in expertise.

This book could be useful as a group read. For example, I could imagine a professional design group reading this book together (like a book discussion group) as a way to explore their own thoughts about the design process. For most everyone else, I would not recommend this volume.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good introduction to service design for business people, but definitely no hands-on manual. The structure is well done with a clear focus on the advantages of each service design method, with an emphasis on decreasing risk. This could have been an alternate title for this book: "Service design: how to decrease your business risks".

The examples are realistic, but a bit boring and often too short. I found the homework quite childish, but I guess it's done on purpose in order not to intimidate the novice reader.

A note on this kindle edition, it's done very badly. The secondary content is set up with a grey font on a grey background, and therefore almost unreadable! Furthermore, the pictures are of a much too low resolution, so zooming in doesn't reveal any more detail. This is really annoying, as this pictures represent diagrams with small text.

All in all, I would only recommend the paper version to persons completely new to service design and design thinking, mostly for the arguments why to use the different methods.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tools to Find the Design Thinker in All of Us July 11, 2011
There has been a veritable onslaught of strategy and business 'design' literature published in the past few years. Most of it is interesting but falls into one of two traps: either it's too theoretical to put into action, or it's directed to a choir of the design-familiar and leaves everyone else behind. Liedtka and Ogilvie break the mold with their new book, providing a framework and a tool kit to help almost anyone with interest and motivation explore the power of design thinking.

It starts with a relatively simple point. Most of the time, most of the world sees the design process as messy and unpredictable and nonlinear and twisted and terribly inefficient. In many organizations, that's why design is often considered a black box so impenetrable that it's outsourced to marketers, product developers, and, well, designers. Liedtka and Ogilvie take the mess and unbundle it all into a four-phase, 10-step framework that starts to look more like a process that individuals and organizations can learn and replicate.

While the steps are somewhat familiar, the recommended approaches in each phase sound reasonable but are more challenging for most people to put into practice. (Try explaining to a typical business planner that you're going to generate new business offerings based on research you conduct with a dozen or so customers, and you'll see what I mean.) Lucky for all of us, Designing for Growth provides concrete tools and step-by-step instructions and plenty of real-life examples for each step of the journey so that there's sufficient structure to help the reader navigate the discomfort of trying something new.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great content, poor printing January 16, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I like the content of this book.

But, as a designer, I was really distracted by the print quality. About 50% of the light on dark sidebars are not legible. They appear as if they were printed on a very inexpensive ink jet printer with low ink. The poor print quality will frustrate non-designers too. It's that bad.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great book about Design for Business Managers June 12, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wow! What a great, color by numbers description of how to use design to help you innovate in business. I have been reading lots of design books and this one is the best as it not only describes the tools of design but also tells you exactly how and when to use them. It is a very practical guide, but still emphasizes the theory of design.

I love this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This will be a top 10ner July 22, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Today this book is the top 100 Management books here on Amazon. I think this is going to make it to the top 10. I really appreciate how this book takes my notion of design and (I think) properly stretches it to solve business challenges. The authors provide the barest grounding in design theory, but still enough to contrast how designers are trained to solve problems, versus how MBAs are trained -- and this is enlightening (and opens up a world of possibilities that is really needed). As a professional that is exposed to both, I attest to how its first chapter alone is eye-opening and I am sure that it has changed how I communicate and collaborate with business-trained colleagues - helping them better understand the potential and the approach that application of design theory to business can make all the difference. As an aside I love the layout of the book too -- just enough illustrations and magazine-like elements including sidebars and checklists. All in all, a very satisfying tour of the potential and actionable insight into where design thinking is going now, its impact on building exciting and winning businesses (and business concepts), and the tools that can be used to be really successful with it. I really think the ideas here (and so well explained) is something that every business (and growth oriented) leader / manager / entrepreneur and entreprenearial-aspiring larger organization could benefit from. Enjoy it -- you won't regret this purchase.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Writing on Design Thinking I Have Seen Thus Far
The best writing on Design Thinking I have seen so far. Very practical. Lots of great tools. Explanations are concise and insightful. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book to read for everybody
this book has benefited myself and colleagues who are working with customers to exploring new revenues sources and ideas. great book for all.
Published 9 months ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book to Help A Finance-Oriented Person Think More Creatively
Full Disclaimer: I am a graduate of the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business and I took Professor Jeanne Liedtka's Design Thinking class in my second year of my MBA... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book
I stumbled across coursera and decided to try it. I bought the book to go along with my first ever coursera experience. Read more
Published 12 months ago by T. J. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Love the insights and how it is presented. Great addition for those who took the Coursera course. I am finding ways to use it in my everyday life like the Prof. said we would
Published 13 months ago by Ptloma
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight
Fantastic book a must read for anyone in business ,professionals or just anyone who's curious about design thinking. Powerful insights which are very practical.
Published 13 months ago by fawzaan barry
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Easy to read, great examples and written for any kind of reader, showing that innovation is not only for designers or inventors.
Published 15 months ago by Santiago
4.0 out of 5 stars important but not impressive
I've gotten stuck about 1/4 of the way through this book. Now, part of that is my fault, but I'm an avid reader, and I bought this out of an intense interest in the subject... Read more
Published 18 months ago by James N Warrener
4.0 out of 5 stars great book, good value
I chose the rating because the book was in great condition.... everything I expect of the book was spot-on; great writing, content, enjoyable and pragmatic.... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Richard from NY
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great
It is a good book for understanding Design Thinking, filled with examples, but I think the methodology is not clear enough, even it have good foundations. Read more
Published 22 months ago by fduran
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