on 7th dec 2011, we as members of business design club at rotman had the privilege to attend a fire-side chat with tim brown (ceo of ideo),  where he discussed about design thinking and business design.

compiled below are few words of wisdom (about design thinking, business design and all else) that i could gather from his talk…

#1) quantity vs quality of ideas: while the quantity of ideas is a good starting point, it is the quality of ideas that leads to success.

#2) innovation is not a zero sum game: the stakes become too high if innovation is treated as a zero sum game. be prepared to fail and hit dead ends, while experimenting.

#3) biomimicry/natural systems: nature provides abundant lessons for us to mimic, to solve relevant problems.

#4) creativity/design thinking/innovation: leads to new business models when various functions or parts of an organization intersect. problem with large organizations is that various functions end up as disconnected silos.

#5) big data and visual analysis: big data consists of soft and hard data. data collection is the easy part, but data synthesis or analysis is the tough part. the key to understand target customer behaviour is to recognize patterns in the data. better understanding of behaviours, could ultimately help in changing behaviours. tim gave few excellent examples about big data and visual analysis

#6) embracing failure: failure while playing or rapid prototyping leads to learning. failure is a loss if we do not learn from it. failure is extremely valuable, if  lessons learnt are implemented to improve things in future. if lessons learnt are shared across the organization, then great. problem with big organizations is that failure is buried because of the importance given to success in career navigation and advancement.

#7) business design: it is a great opportunity for designers and business people to work together, as it leads to more choices. but, there is a lot of knowledge to acquire and that would take a lot of time. nobody has yet mastered on how to teach this discipline. above all, it is tough to acquire the creative confidence to delve into the problem not knowing the answer and to lead the way through it.

and right after the fireside chat, he gave a presentation to the rotman audience titled “From Newton to Darwin – an evolution in design”.

p.s. there is more to tim brown and his wisdom on design thinking…


One response »

  1. Chris says:

    I attended the talk afterward but couldn’t make it to the fireside chat. Thanks very much for this summary!

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