Review: Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation: What They Can’t Teach You at Business or Design School


Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation: What They Can’t Teach You at Business or Design School by Idris Mootee


Design thinking can “bring about creative solutions to solve complex business problems.” This book explains how to do this in a ‘hands on’ way able to be easily transferred into practice by any organization wanting to adopt design thinking in their own work.


The author is CEO of his own design firm ‘Idea Couture’ so has lots of practical experience in applying design thinking in practice.


Applying design thinking to your business isn’t about just taking some design thinking ‘tools’ and applying them in the same way you used to use traditional strategy tools. Instead, it’s about rethinking the very way you think about your business. In a sense, design thinking is a system of thought more aligned to the emergent ‘new economy’ – decentralized, modular, based on ‘deep’ value and extremely heterogenous.


Design thinking is a way for organizations to both weather the massive changes currently underway in the global economy as well as to ensure that they are able to thrive in this environment. Unlike much of the way design thinking is currently discussed though it’s not merely presented as just a new set of tools – rather it’s presented as what design thinking really can be: a new way of thinking! To use the term utilized by the author’s firm its bringing to bear the “power of D-School + B-School™.” This book provides an excellently written and interestingly structured outline of how you can adopt design thinking in your own organization’s practice.

The real strength of this book is the simplicity of the message. Although, with the added benefit of providing the actual tools to start implementing this type of thinking in your own organization. In this respect then, the book provides the ideal complement of both an in-depth discussion of new ideas with the concrete tools to be used to move forward with putting those ideas into practice.

While admittedly there are better books on the market for understanding the various nuances of design thinking or in providing exhaustive definitions and discussions of the various tools able to be used by practitioners but this is probably the single best design thinking primer for business’ available in the market at the moment. And, to square the circle, the book has a great aesthetic to it too. After all, if you’re going to promote design thinking it pays to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

Definitely worth reading – maybe more than once!

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