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DIY: Change By Design by Tim Brown December 10, 2009

Posted by eskuhn in [Books] Leadership & Change.

Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO, has long been heralded as a thought leader and purveyor  of the Design Thinking methodology, and how it can be used by business and industry to achieve innovation. In his first book, Change By Design, Brown lays the blueprint for how Design Thinking is done.

Brown has taken the black box of IDEO and other design and innovation consultancies and broken their process down to manageable, bite-size pieces. It doesn’t hurt to have a team of interdisciplinary rock stars, but the process itself is not rocket science. From there, it’s on you to practice the concepts, hone your skills, and do your best to incorporate it into whatever company, organization, or team in which you find yourself working. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results if you stay committed to the process from beginning to end.

One piece I particularly like is the idea of walking away from your work in order to make progress. As MBAs, we often think if we continue to drill down, eventually we’ll find an answer. This is probably true, but is it the best answer? Brown quotes the designer behind the iconic lucky strike package when he was asked how long the design would take:

“some spring morning I will feel like designing the Lucky package and you’ll have it in a matter of hours. I’ll call you then.”

Sometimes it takes some unknown inspiration to remove the creative obstacle, and that inspiration is not commonly found at your desk. We all have the desire to create something great, something that will be remembered, used, and ultimately make the world a better place in its own small way. For this, Brown offers the following advice:

“For an idea to become an experience, it must be implemented with the same care in which it is conceived…”



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