Does Design Thinking = Thinking? Musings of a business consultant, Part 3

22 Nov 2009|Leigh Marinner

Carl Bass the CEO of Autodesk said that Design Thinking = Thinking in his Pecha-Kucha talk at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

This question is at the heart of many of the emotional hurdles Cheskin AV has had in developing an integrated approach to problem solving using the expertise of Customer Insights, Design Thinking, and Business Consulting. Since Cheskin AV tends to work on the tougher problems, and most of our practitioners are senior in their fields, we all apply sophisticated analysis and thinking to our recommendations. At first Design Thinking practitioners, in an attempt to describe what they do, described what they added to a project as integration of findings into a model, or a framework for analysis, or development of project insights. Naturally, senior practitioners are not willing to cede development of project insights to some other group of people. After all, insight is what we are paid for.

So we have come to agree that Design Thinking is not just another word for Thinking. My personal view of what we are evolving to is a recognition of the role of generative thinking in the solution process, an understanding of how involving people with different learning styles can enrich the project output, and an increased emphasis on creating the visual “money slide” which provides the basis for senior management to discuss and figure out how to implement our findings.

We have learned that practitioners from the different disciplines in fact use many of the same tools and that there are a lot of cross-discipline commonalities in approach. As Cheskin AV has integrated the three disciplines, and we have learned from each other, we are continuing to expand the tool set that each of us uses to deliver a richer result.

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