2/ Design Thinking 2019: Not Everything is a Product Design Problem

Continued from 1. Design Thinking: Everyone is Copying

The tools and body of knowledge an architect uses for the task at hand may be different or irrelevant for what the mason needs to achieve, and vice versa. This is the cross-over mentality we see right now in the marketplace when it comes to tools and methodology and the challenges leaders possess.

If you read the dossier, or listened to the podcast, I mention Maslow’s Law of the Hammer. It’s too easy to view the vast strategic terrain with the sensemaking lens of one methodology especially if the default outcome is artifact creation.

But some action is better than no action right? Maybe. It depends. Managers and CxOs might be inclined towards speed and execution, but don’t forget about what happened to GE.

NOT ALL PROBLEMS ARE DESIGN PROBLEMS. NOT ALL DESIGN PROBLEMS ARE PRODUCT PROBLEMS. AND NOT ALL PROBLEMS NEED INNOVATION. WITH THAT SAID, HOW ARE THESE CHALLENGES BEING FRAMED BY CONSULTANT AND CLIENT?

“What conversation needs to happen first?” If senior leaders want to work on a product growth strategy, but there’s massive attrition with middle management, how do you prioritize? If there’s a leak in the hull, wouldn’t it make sense to address that first?

Managers and execs who purchase these projects are usually fine if they just have isolated problems that need a specific solution. But we know that organizations face an interrelated constellation of challenges and issues.

How do you prioritize and choose the right questions at the top of the funnel? Who has the language to help you frame all that? How would you stage and facilitate at phase 0?

There are a multitude of frameworks for decision-making or design. Many of them do not default to artifact creation, or even assume that a thing is to be the final output. Most use dialogue as a means to reorient complex organizations — one conversation at a time. These engagements can run weeks or months because the challenge still remains nebulous, isn’t generating data, or ideas that are worthwhile to pursue. Sometimes, the organization just can’t move fast enough.

BOTTOM LINE AND RECOMMENDATION: NOT EVERYTHING IS A PRODUCT PROBLEM OR A DESIGN PROBLEM. NOT ALL METHODOLOGIES ARE A GOOD FIT. MANY METHODOLOGIES OUT THERE ARE CREATIVE BUT DIALOuGICAL, WHICH IS FITTING FOR MORE fuzzy, more STRATEGIC TERRAIN WHILE MAKING NO ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT “THE OUTPUT.”

Part of the Skylance Show Episode 2

Bryann Alexandros