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Is the Playbook DEAD?

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Playbook Whisperers

Who guessed that fixing/redesigning design thinking playbooks, that organizations spent a small fortune on, but don’t work would turn into a stream of business for us?

This work typically involves redesigning confused and confusing processes within as well as the related learning experience. Recently we were asked to look at a playbook created by a large consulting company, "customized" for a global enterprise. That playbook contained a 21 step process but was positioned as design, agile, acceleration…:-) The Client had boxes of playbooks that were unusable. No big secret that selling cut and paste "customized" playbooks has become big business for some consultants.

Today the subject of human-centered design, mashed up with design thinking has become so screwed up that many have no idea what came from where, what is real, what is spin or what is missing. Listening closely to stated objectives it's clear that many seek hybrid methods, drawing in the best from multiple communities of knowledge in order to meet their stated purpose.

Is the Playbook dead? Understanding that a playbook is not typically intended to be a workshop workbook is often a good first step. Understanding that mindsets are not skillsets would be a good second step...:-) If your objective is innovation capacity building, playbooks and mindsets are NOT in themselves going to to get you there. More on this subject in a future post.

For us this is meaningful work helping others that connects to our two earlier books on Rethinking Design Thinking and Innovation Methods History.


Note: Much of our work is strategically confidential. Send us an email if you would like to have a conversation regarding the challenges you are having with your present playbook. engage (at) humantific (dot) com


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