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on December 11, 2011
The underlying messages of the book are clearest in the first few chapters. And they are really valuable messages for people like me.

Here are a few high level points I took from the book:

Reliability vs. Validity explains how organizations take a winning formula and get stuck in it. Most of the world incentives reward reliability, even when it becomes the wrong answer.

The Funnel - mystery, heuristics, algorithm describes the natural life-cycle of an offering from innovation to driving towards the lowest cost production of it. It describes how that actually happens.

Deductive, inductive and abductive reasoning and how to balance these things and where and how to use them in the Funnel.

Balance - key here and, frankly, just about everywhere.

Organizations are often hyper focused on reliability or algorithmic thinking. They resist validity and new ideas. That explains a lot about my experiences in trying to drive change in organizations stuck in algorithmic thinking.

This book has a really strong premise and the first few chapters read like wildfire. As with many books of this kind, the following chapters of examples of organizations and people using the ideas, was a bit less exciting and relevant to me. However, I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to design for change or frustrated by the lack of it. It explains a lot.
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on March 24, 2012
The author believes that there are two camps; one analytical and one intuitive/creative when it comes to strategic management and innovation. I would consider this set-up a bit like a straw man. In my own view, the analytical approach is more important for strategic management and the intuitive/creative approach for innovation. Instead the author obfuscates by talking about design of business (nothing to do with industrial design), which just adds one more unnecessary term to management speak.

The book is mostly filled with case stories of now relatively known cases like P&G and Cirque du Soleil. The case stories are written from the outside so they will of course fit the authors viewpoint. I would have preferred case studies that actually had some inside knowledge of what was going on inside the company. Right now these descriptions feel rather flaky. Furthermore, one wonders why the author has not used his own management consulting experience to find relevant cases.
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on January 26, 2010
Roger does an amazing job of explaining the concept of design thinking in his latest book. With the construct of "knowledge funnel", Roger explains pretty much all of the thinking that happens in an organization and gives you a new tool-set to think about designing businesses, products and organizations.

Various designers have attempted to advocate the relevance of design to business. However, most of their arguments are centred around an artistic framework and unfortunately fall short of convincing a result-oriented business manager. This book written by a professional management thinker embraces design thinking and builds such a solid frame work around it as to leave no doubt of its importance to business in the next decade.
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on February 2, 2010
Other reviewers have given a great review of the book and its contents, so I will not try to duplicate their comments. What I will say, as someone in the business world thinking about how to add more design thinking and innovation to a very 'financials' based organization, this was a great book that opened my mind to new possibilities. While the book isn't necessarily prescriptive, it does offer many insights and is very approachable (i.e., quick and easy read) for those who know nothing of the design / design thinking world. I echo an earlier comment that any exec having anything to do with products or innovation, or really any exec at all, should at least be familiar with the concepts descussed in the book.
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This is a top thinker sharing some good thinking. Which makes it in my mind, a must read.

The Knowledge Funnel that Roger Martin defines points to how information gets sifted from "mystery" to "heuristic" to "algorithm" and how that impacts decision making, strategy, innovation. This simple model will probably be as well known in future as Jim Collins "hedgehog concept". It's both intuitive and analytically rich in how a reader can come to understand it.

I was surprised to find the book "design thinking" which is quite popular today because i think it is more "good thinking" but i understand the need to fit into a bigger theme to be more easily consumed.
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Martin's focus on a product maturity funnel (though he doesn't call it that) brings focus to this book and limits its scope. I've found the funnel useful as a way of talking about digital products, but mostly get blank stares from people. So I have to translate it into words they understand. That doesn't negate the value of this book, just acts as a cautionary tale. Don't assume anyone you know will understand what you're talking about after reading this book. Still the ideas and concepts are worthy of learning and integrating into how you think about product management and development.
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on November 23, 2011
I like this book very much! This is an excellent guide for managers, consultants, entrepreneurs for how to consider using the design thinking in growing their businesses. Under the new circumstances, this is a book that every business people need to have, in order to know how to integrate innovation in the day-to-day business. You can find specific case studies of companies that started to use design thinking, such as P&G, RIM, Steelcase, Target, Cirque du Soleil, and Apple, and grew their businesses on a long term.
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Design Thinking is not a new line of thought for Roger Martin, but in this book he excelled himself. This very well written book, clearly demonstrates why a company able to balance analytical with intuitive thinking will be the best fit for value creation in the near future.
This book won Best Book in Innovation & Creativity at "The 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards of 2009".
It's really worth reading!The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage
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on January 15, 2015
excellent lessons for all levels in the organization - particularly the diferentiation between companies looking backwards (via metrics) and forward (via scaning and thinking) and striving for balance.
Unfortunate that two cited companies (Blackberry and P &G) have had dislocations and news events since publication -- which may (unfortunately) be perceived as weakening the main theses. Get over that and stick to the principles. I plan to use with students and colleagues alike.
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on January 10, 2015
Wanted to learn more about how to use Design Thinking in my work as an organizational consultant. This book is an absolute bore. It contains no more than high falutin' concepts on the subject. If this guy is the Dean of Design Thinking, I'd hate to read what his faculty write on the subject. Don't waste your money. (PS--I have a PhD in organization development and industrial design. I have written far better and more useful books than this, even if I say so myself.)
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