1/ Design Thinking 2019: Everyone is Copying (and remixing)
Since Web 2.0 and creative commons/open-source culture, everyone’s been sharing, adapting, and remixing content. Given the extremely low barrier to entry to starting a business, that also means that the consulting and training market continues to become plagued with “design thinking as a form of expertise.”
This was no different from the Chinese engineering firms that infiltrated IDEO’s shops in the 2000s to “kindly take some notes.”
Even matured firms like McKinsey and IBM¹ are reinventing their branding to show the world that they do “Design Thinking” and that they’re not the sluggish consultancies the media makes them out to be.
Pop-culture methodologies are really recombinations of past ideologies, just tweaked to fit the current state of the markets and economies. Sometimes, this is unintentional by the authors. Design Thinking borrows from the various fields of ethnography, anthropology, and especially the unsung field of applied creativity, a field going far beyond mere brainstorming and isolated techniques. While Design Thinking is defined as a methodology for creative problems solving, it’s severely limited to creating products/services/artifacts. 99% of the time, CxOs do not feel the effects of its limitations until months down the line.
This is also partly why newcomers struggle for some kind of unified understanding of its history. Practitioners and academics are analyzing the flow of events from the intellectual capital and lens of their own discipline, tribe, and academic upbringing. There just is no “one” community to show you the way. Each tribe has their own set of agendas, values, ethics, and beliefs, and thus a kaleidoscopic interpretation of the past, and a strong opinion on who or what will lead organizations into the future.
BOTTOM LINE AND RECOMMENDATION: DON’T BE FOOLED BY NOVELTY. EVERYONE’S COPYING. REMEMBER EFFICACY AND CONTEXT.
Part of the Skylance Show Episode 2
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