Clarifying “Design Thinking”
Updated: May 1, 2019
Forbes vs. Humantific
Humantific CoFounder, GK VanPatter offers Humantific readers a deeper level of leadership understanding on the murky subject of “Design Thinking”:
“A recent article appearing in Forbes entitled “Design Thinking: Your Next Competitive Advantage” reminded us that the mountain of confusion around the subject continues to grow. Most articles on the subject of Design Thinking appearing in the business media are well intentioned but many miss the mark, adding to the public confusion on this subject. This seems to be occurring for several different, often overlapping reasons:
A: Many authors assume their specific neighborhood perspectives apply to all aspects of the Design / Design Thinking community, when they don’t. There is no one Design Thinking. Different parts of the design community are engaged in vastly different types and scales of challenges. Working on posters, toothbrushes or applications is vastly different from transforming organizations or problem solving in communities.
B: There is a constant self-reinforcing stream of overly simplistic depictions of Design Thinking in the media which parrot the promotional literature of the graduate design schools whether it makes any sense in the real world or not.
C: Often historical figures are quoted from eras when the operational arenas of design were much less strategic and considerably narrower then they are today. Some historical quotes no longer apply. Others are flat-out incorrect. As design knowledge expands some of these popular old quotes remain relevant while others fall away.
On the one hand it would be easy for us to jump on and go along with the promotional parroting train around Design Thinking but none of that is really advancing leadership level understanding of the subject.
For our Humantific readers we want to offer more. In the interest of clarity for our readers we offer here a different perspective on several dimensions of Design Thinking that were referenced recently in the Forbes article.”
Read the complete post on GK’s LinkedIn Blog.