Excellence by Design

Fast Company has reviewed a new book by Roger Martin.  Roger Martin is the dean of the Rotman School of Management (at the University of Toronto) and his new book is called:    The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage.   He thinks that companies are analysed to death and that stiffles any emerging innovation.

He wants companies to imagine the future, and use intuition and not rely solely on Management Consultants who push us into analytics.  It is design thinking that is critical for the modern world. Martin is quoted by Fast Company as saying: ‘the enemy of innovation is the mandate to “prove it.” You cannot prove a new idea in advance by inductive or deductive reasoning.’

Martin argues for the primacy of creativity and innovation as a way to build future products and services in companies that will survive. At its heart is intuitive thinking ‘the art of knowing without reasoning’. But he is not saying we ditch one approach for the other. 

‘Analytical mastery and intuitive originality in a dynamic interplay’ is his model which he calls design thinking. 

And he sees the present age not delivering enough innovation because of the management models that have come to dominate management thinking. The book is short and sharp and well worth reading.

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