Book Review: Design of Business. Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage?

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Book Review: Design of Business. Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage?

Book: Design of Thinking. Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage?
Author: Roger Martin
Publisher: Harvard Business Press - 2009
Book reviewer: Maryam Saadat
Master in Imagineering

In this book, Roger Martin will explain everything with details and examples which are based on theories that can help you to rely on them as a strong scientific lessons in your business life.
During reading this book, you will evaluate your knowledge and sometimes you will stop and try to see things with a different glasses.
Somehow, you will be prepared to be more critical about your current job or any kind of transformation and change that you will face with it. Also, at the same time, you will understand that how and why you should make change in your business plan or the whole company.
First , there are clear definitions of design thinking and analytical thinking, also you will know their differences.
Another part of the book is about a path which he calls it “knowledge funnel” which is about solving mysteries. It is a model for how businesses of all sorts can advance knowledge and capture value and mainly it will solve mysteries.

For Roger, doing a research means facing with a mystery and the example of DNA research is one of the interesting examples in this book.
Scientists were working on DNA for years and worked on everything that they thought is related to solution, but after years, they could understand that the answer was in DNA itself that was always throw away.

In my opinion, we can be reflective in this part of the book and make relation to Imagineering perspective.
Do not put the situations in a frame, don't be judgemental, see everything from a different aspects and going to depth also do not throw away any simple possibilities are recommended by Roger Martin which is all about our job as an Imagineer.
In other part of the book, there is a clear definition of two terms “reliability” and “validity”and their goals. According to the book, the goal of reliability is to produce consistent, predictable outcome but the goal of validity is to produce outcomes that meet a desired objective.

With knowing about these two terms, we can prepare ourselves to challenge with situations especially when we want to know how to balance the irresolvable tension between operating within the current knowledge stage and moving through the knowledge funnel.
He mentioned that the tension can't be fully resolved but only balanced and managed because both reliability and validity are inherently incompatible.(1)

Giving a lot of examples to show the use of scientific theories is very interesting for a reader and incredibly you won't be bored by these theories at all.
Roger is helping you to see some well-known companies with a different glasses.
You will understand why some companies like IDEO are famous for their uniqueness or how Steve Job is involved in Apple and why he is always a key person.

According Roger's, there are a lot of tools and methods in a daily tasks which can be used in traditional companies to implement design thinking. There is no need to be a CEO or a top manager of a company to use these tools and methods.
I can relate this part of the book to appreciative inquiry. Because in my opinion, with appreciative inquiry, you are able to be positive and strong to make some small changes in your daily tasks and inspire your other colleagues to do the same. And in a broad view, if these small tasks bring new achievements, there is a great possibility to show the top management or CEO a new potential in their companies and it can be a first step to make changes broader.

For conclusion, I should mention that this book can be used for people who believe in traditional way of management and at the same time, for people who believe in changes and 21st century way of business.
You won't be tired of reading this book because of having clear and up-dated examples.
It is an easy reading book which has a huge amount of information, definitions, tools and methodologies but it won't make you tired at all.

I hope that I could inspire you to read this book.
References: (1). The design of business, P.37. Roger Martin, 2009.


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