Garr Reynolds on The Designful Company
Branding guru Marty Neumeier understands that we are all very busy, so he crafts his books to make a big impact in less than 200 pages. His previous bestsellers, The Brand Gap
are provocative, informative, and inspirational books that I use every semester in the Marketing class I teach. Like his previous books, The Designful Company
is a lesson in simple, clear, and beautiful presentation, and the contents are a powerful complement to his earlier ideas.
Early in this book, Marty makes the case for the power of design and aesthetics and why they matter today more than ever. Innovation and design are key in the transformation of an organization; everyone says "innovation" matters. The term has become a mere platitude, a sort of tag-line for many organizations. In the book Marty explains how to actually build a culture of change that embraces design by focusing on 16 key levers such as weaving a story, bringing design management inside the organization, introducing parallel thinking, recognizing talent and creativity, and more.
One of the levers of change that I found particularly interesting (obviously, given what I do for a living) was the lever #8: "Ban PowerPoint." This is, ban the awful, death-by-PowerPoint approach and replace it with a more engaging and powerful presentation method. If you have an innovative company that truly understands design and creative collaboration, then you have to abandon the dull, lifeless, and typical PowerPoint presentation for compelling stories and conversations that are visual, simple (without being overly simplistic), and memorable.
"If a business is really a decision factory, then the presentations that inform those decisions determine their quality," says Marty. But a change in presentation approach is only a small part of the transformation. This book is about how to kick-ass though a greater understanding of your potential for creative collaboration.
I highly recommend The Designful Company. Even seasoned marketing, branding, and design pros will find the book an inspirational refresher with concrete ideas. And if this is your first Marty Neumeier book, you'll be blown away. Wonderful, fresh content and a little book that is a visual tour de force.
Garr Reynolds is the creator of the most popular Web site on presentation design and delivery on the net. Garr’s book, Presentation Zen, features a foreword from Guy Kawasaki and is endorsed by such industry luminaries as Seth Godin. Together his Web site and book have fundamentally changed the way people around the world create and give presentations.
“The first important book of the year. In the tradition of IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE and BUILT TO LAST, THE DESIGNFUL COMPANY changes the way we think about business. During these challenging times, when doors are shutting all around us, Neumeier’s book opens a big window.”
AUTHOR OF DESIGNING BRAND IDENTITY
“In another short but very sweet book, Neumeier introduces us the aesthetics of management. The Designful Company makes a great contribution to our understanding of design as a core business competence.”
, DEAN OF THE ROTMAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, AND AUTHOR OF THE OPPOSABLE MIND
“If this is your first Marty Neumeier book, you'll be blown away. Wonderful, fresh content presented as a visual tour de force.”
PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT AT KANSAI GAIDAI UNIVERSITY, AND AUTHOR OF PRESENTATION ZEN
“Form follows function? Form is function! In The Designful Company, Marty Neumeier lays out a powerful case that business innovation is a byproduct of design thinking. Follow these rules and your company can innovate faster, collaboratively and continuously.”
CHIEF INSIGHTS OFFICER AT Y&R, AND AUTHOR OF THE BRAND BUBBLE
“Design thinking has the potential to step-change all aspects of innovation in business. When you need a disruption, when market dynamics are changing, when new sources of growth are needed—companies that focus on design have a competitive edge.”
VP DESIGN INNOVATION AND STRATEGY, P&G
“At last! A book that clearly articulates how and why design is absolutely fundamental to the success of business today. Chock-full of great insights.”
, PhD, PRESIDENT OF DESIGN MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE
“No filler. No fluff. Marty Neumeier has distilled his message on innovation and design down to just the good stuff. Read the whole book on your next flight, and arrive with fresh insights ready to share.”
, GENERAL MANAGER OF IDEO,
AND AUTHOR OF THE TEN FACES OF INNOVATION
“In the first half of this book Neumeier presents a good argument for the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of the designful company and in the second half he gives us a decent prototype for the ‘how’. If you don’t see that calling it a ‘decent prototype’ constitutes high praise, you need this book.”
PROFESSOR AT THE WEATHERHEAD SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, CASE WESTERN UNIVERSITY, AND CO-AUTHOR OF MANAGING AS DESIGNING
Required reading for addressing “wicked problems”!
CHAIRMAN OF CORPORATE DESIGN FOUNDATION
Part manifesto, part handbook, THE DESIGNFUL COMPANY provides a lively overview of a growing trend in management—design thinking as a business competence. According to the author, traditional managers have relied on a two-step process to make decisions, which he calls “knowing and “doing. Yet in today's innovation-driven marketplace, managers need to insert a middle step, called “making. Making is a phase in which assumptions are questioned, futures are imagined, and prototypes are tested, producing a wide range of options that didn't exist before. The reader is challenged to consider the author's bold assertion: There can be no real innovation without design. Those who are new to Marty Neumeier's “whiteboard series may want to ramp up with the first two books, THE BRAND GAP and ZAG. Both are easy reads.
Covered in THE DESIGNFUL COMPANY:
- the top 10 “wicked problems that only design can solve
- a new, broader definition of design
- why designing trumps deciding in an era of change
- how to harness the “organic drivetrain of value creation
- how aesthetics add nuance to managing
- 16 levers to transform your company
- why you should bring design management inside
- how to assemble an innovation metateam
- how to recognize and reward talent
From the back cover:
The complex business problems we face today can't be solved with the same thinking that created them. Instead, we need to start from a place outside traditional management. Forget total quality. Forget top-down strategy. In an era of fast-moving markets and leap-frogging innovations, we can no longer “decide the way forward. Today we have to “design the way forward—or risk ending up in the fossil layers of history. Marty Neumeier, author of THE BRAND GAP and ZAG, presents the new management engine that can transform your company into a powerhouse of nonstop innovation.