Design Thinking and the likes

I somehow have a hard time recently to catch up with all the stuff that happens around me on and off-line.

Zurich in Fall.jpgBeside the reasonable business travelling I’ve done recently to NL, CH, then back to NL and CH next month again (after all not too many complaints here since I also always meet good friends and make new ones!) this semester I’m currently starting a new course on Business Model Visualization at the local Design faculty I’m currently working for as a Professor for Design Management. It’s a virtual collaboration with my (virtual) friend and Business Modell (Guru ;-) Alex Osterwalder from Switzerland. More news on that soon …

Visiting TU DelftAnyway, two weeks ago I’ve held a lecture at the TU Delft for the MA in Strategic Product Design. My friend and business partner Erik is a part-time faculty member there. Erik knows my work and thinking on Strategy and Strategic Management for quite a while (also because he used to be one of my post-graduate Master of Design Management students at Inholland University, Rotterdam [the programme has been terminated in case you've planned to ask for further details ;-(] and for the purpose of my guest lecture he proposed to combine my knowledge on Strategy with my recent ideas on Design Thinking (explaining the different modes of thinking between Designers & Managers amongst others). So from the feedback it seemed that I’ve been able to create some good linkages between the two and I plan to continue ruminating about ‘Strategic Design Thinking’.

Sooo, coming back to the first sentence of this posting I was happy to see that my blog colleague Martin Koser over from ‘businessmodel innovation_design’ posted a comprehensive blog post on Design Thinking where he’s listed and covered all the blogs and sites I’ve recently visited as well and considered posting about (but after all isn’t it all about execution, stupid?! ;-) His posting is also worth a visit since he’s provided links to loads of videos on the topic worth checking.

However one or two side notes on the quote by Thomas Vander Wal that Martin has highlighted in response to a video interview question: “What does Design mean to you?”:

“It’s the layer on top of things that are used, that makes them comfortable and gives them more ease of use. It’s adding experience but taking away the hard edges, and allow people to embrace the tool or service in a closer interaction.”

For sure this is an answer that stems from Vander Wal’s background as an interaction designer. However this makes it also clear that the community of Design Thinkers and Design Managers needs to take care that the term does not get washed away by being everybody’s darling! For sure Design Thinking and especially ‘Strategic Design Thinking’ in its heart is ‘Process’ that is needed as the foundation of every ‘Design’ that wants to ‘serve’ people, users, customers, clients, human beings or even animals.

And yes, Tim Brown from IDEO now also has a blog on Design Thinking as well; heavily featured by his buddy Bruce Nussbaum who is also a professor on Design and Innovation management now … I can’t help myself, but yes, I’m a little bit cynical about that all. For me it seems that these types of blogs are more meant as another hub for exposition rather than really engaging in a ‘conversation’ (you know Cluetrain Manifesto and the likes ;-) And yes I admit I’ve also left my comments there in the hope to get a ‘sort of’ response … but hey, I’m naive … or so ;-). However my grief will go away soon and beside this: Not all of us can become the Browns and Nussbaums on Design (Thinking). I think the blogosphere has its niche for all of us … in the long tail :-)

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