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Solving Problems With Design Thinking: Ten Stories of What Works [Paperback]

Jeanne Liedtka , Andrew King , Kevin Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

3 Sep 2013
In Designing for Growth: A Manager's Toolkit, Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie provided managers with guidance on using design as a powerful tool to boost the innovation needed to grow profitable businesses. This new book emphasizes the relevance of design thinking to business outcomes beyond just revenue growth, illustrating how design thinking can be used as a tool to approach managerial and organizational challenges. Based on a study that aimed to identify the specific ways in which managers use design thinking, this book presents a series of case studies that show how design thinking was practically implemented to innovate and solve problems. The organization profiled include Toyota, IBM, Steelcase, Intuit, Healthways, SAP, and social sector organizations including Dublin City Council in Ireland and The Good Kitchen in Denmark. These concrete examples will help readers grasp the intricacies of designing thinking, and will show skeptical managers that design thinking is not just for product design or development departments.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr (3 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231163576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231163576
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

In a clear and simple style, this book shows how design thinking has been applied successfully to address complex and different problems in a variety of organizations, both for- and not-for-profit. The ten case studies provide creative and innovative applications of design principles and supply sufficient detail of use to aid readers in their own planning processes. Solving Problems with Design Thinking provides depth of value to the graduate professional classroom while being simple and clear for immediate use by managers. -- Toni Ungaretti, Johns Hopkins University Jeanne Liedtka is dedicated to bringing design concepts and theory down from the stratosphere into the hands of managers tackling everyday problems. She and her coauthors achieve just this in Solving Problems with Design Thinking. Read it once for inspiration and encouragement. Then go back to its pages time and time again for models, tools, lessons, and stories that will transform design thinking into a powerful asset for you. -- Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto This book offers a solid, in-depth look at the power of design thinking to solve organizational problems. Better yet, through real-life examples, it demonstrates a far more important skill: how to uncover the more urgent problems lurking beneath the surface. The authors brilliantly reveal how the design mindset can permeate -- and then transform -- an organization. -- Daniel Pink, author of Drive and To Sell Is Human --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jeanne Liedtka has been involved in the corporate strategy field for more than thirty years. She has served as associate dean of the MBA program at the Darden School of Business, executive director of the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and chief learning officer at United Technologies Corporation. Andrew King has a faculty appointment to the Darden School of Business as a research associate for the Batten Institute. Kevin Bennett has worked for organizations ranging from technology start-ups to government institutions and is currently manager for marketing and partnership development at Personal, a technology start-up in Washington, D.C. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Hardcover
Here's how Jeanne Liedtka, Andrew King, and Kevin Bennett frame the information, insights, and counsel they provide in this brilliant book: "In the spring of 2010 the Design Management Institute (DMI) and researchers at the University of Virginia's Daren School of Business (a team that included us) launched a multistage research program to assess the prevalence and impact of design thinking in business organizations. Sponsored by the Batten Institute, a center for the study of entrepreneurship and innovation at Daren, the study set out to develop an understanding of the extent to which the methods, techniques, and processes traditionally associated with design and designers had been adopted within established business and social sector organizations." This, then, is a research-driven book, as are almost all other great works of non-fiction.

What they discovered "was so inspiring that we decided to write this book, in the hope that we could help the people we cared most about -- managers and designers -- see new possibilities to break through inertia and politics to use design thinking to accomplish the things we believed it was capable of, if we could only get it into the right hands." Please keep that in mind when you read it, holding the book in your own hands.

I commend Liedtka, King, and Bennett on their skillful use of reader-friendly devices such as the format they use for mini-commentaries on the ten exemplary companies (IBM, Suncorp, 3M, SAP, Toyota, MeYou Health, FiDJI, The Good Kitchen, Citizens of Dublin, and Intuit): The Business Problem, The Context, Designer's Contribution, and as a conclusion, What do We Take Away from [given company's] Story?
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Design Thinking Is More Than Creating A Logo 3 Oct 2013
By Timothy R. Milburn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I've always had a love for graphic design. When I received a copy of this book, I was intrigued to see how the elements of design could flow into other areas of life and business.

One of the first things I noticed was the truly creative approaches one could take when applying the principles from one field and applying them to another. This book does a great job of illustrating ten different and unique design approaches to solve problems. Each chapter (based on one of the ten approaches) provides real life stories and conversations with managers, designers, and organizational leaders that enhance the value of each approach.

I came away from this book with a better appreciation for problem solving outside of the box. One of the ways to find better solutions is to use more creative approaches. This has strategic implications for organizations at all levels.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Individuals as well as "Big Company" politics 22 Sep 2013
By Let's Compare Options Preptorial - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First, this is a GREAT little book on Kindle or your Amazon cloud-- the publishers/ authors knew better than to use mice sized illustrations, formulas that get slaughtered, etc. on e-readers. The little "essence" curve diagram for design thinking, for example, (based on the more expensive and thorough previous text like books by these authors) is large, crisp, and nicely embedded in the Kindle page spread about asking the four DT "Whats" about what is, what if, what wows and what works.

In the sense of Gail Fairhurst's powerful framing book (The Power of Framing: Creating the Language of Leadership) this little book contains illustrative stories about how the frame of "design thinking" (a combination of creativity, customer research, engineering and marketing all rolled up into a strawman "how designers think" model) make folks like Apple successful.

This is where I start to differ a little with the publisher's promos. The book, in promo, comes off as a "big company" text-- how to get around the politics of managers not thinking they are creative and selling new and innovative ideas to "execs." Well, frankly, this book and frame work just as well if you're an infopreneur wearing the design, management, accounting and distribution hats on different days in a one person writing, software development, consulting, etc. company! This book is a kindof "lab" for the lectures of the author's other fine, larger texts on design thinking, as it cuts right to the chase of real world stories (also a DT technique!). Frankly, I've read all three books in the series and will opine that this one is fine to grok the whole idea.

There are fads like one minute manager etc. that writers make up and become "trendy." DT could be seen in that frame, but so could the iphone, so... don't dismiss it because it DOES have elements of let's create a neologisim and hope people buy it. There are legitimate and helpful new angles/ frames whether you're a brilliant design creative framing into finance or vice versa. As an Engineer, I see fellow creatives - design engineers in my field who don't "believe" they have a creative bone in their body, yet they do what this book calls design thinking all day long.

This book kicks in when you leave the most efficient design pattern in OOP and start considering the user interface. Of course the specific best of breed book in that field is Cooper (About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design), but this is a close second at the 30,000 foot view scale, with variety that includes a wide array of products and ideas, and tangentially, even services.

For the price on Kindle, and the new frames it opens up, highly recommended.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's a blueprint for deploying design thinking to embed a more creative approach to problem solving 3 Oct 2013
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Here's how Jeanne Liedtka, Andrew King, and Kevin Bennett frame the information, insights, and counsel they provide in this brilliant book: "In the spring of 2010 the Design Management Institute (DMI) and researchers at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business (a team that included us) launched a multistage research program to assess the prevalence and impact of design thinking in business organizations. Sponsored by the Batten Institute, a center for the study of entrepreneurship and innovation at Daren, the study set out to develop an understanding of the extent to which the methods, techniques, and processes traditionally associated with design and designers had been adopted within established business and social sector organizations." This, then, is a research-driven book, as are almost all other great works of non-fiction.

What they discovered "was so inspiring that we decided to write this book, in the hope that we could help the people we cared most about -- managers and designers -- see new possibilities to break through inertia and politics to use design thinking to accomplish the things we believed it was capable of, if we could only get it into the right hands." Please keep that in mind when you read it, holding the book in your own hands.

I commend Liedtka, King, and Bennett on their skillful use of reader-friendly devices such as the format they use for mini-commentaries on the ten exemplary companies (IBM, Suncorp, 3M, SAP, Toyota, MeYou Health, FiDJI, The Good Kitchen, Citizens of Dublin, and Intuit): The Business Problem, The Context, Designer's Contribution, and as a conclusion, What do We Take Away from [given company's] Story? Also, "Design Tool" inserts such as these in Chapter 2: Secondary Research, Mind Mapping, Design Criteria, Learning Launch, and Cards. The devices serve two separate but very important purposes: they focus on key material, and, they facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review later.

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of the book's coverage.

o Building Bridges with Design Thinking (Pages 3-8)
o Incorporating the Four Questions Into a Three-Step Approach (18-24)
o Rethinking Metrics and Delivering Results (30-32)
o Why Take the Second Road? (37-40)
o Results!, and, What Worked and Why (51-54)
o Selling Design in the B2B Space (61-65)
o Building the Prototype (81-86)
o Including Engineers and Designers: The Importance of Context and Integration (99-100)
o Building Partnerships (109-111)
o Changing Views of Design (128-130)
o Stakeholder Workshops: Hatching & Blooming (148-151)
o Process to Repair Clongriffin (165-171)
o Creating Innovation Catalysts (182-186)
o Creativity Through Structure, and, The Ever-Elusive Issue of Management (189-191)
o The Role of Culture (191-192)

As indicated in the first chapter, Liedtka, King, and Bennett's goal in this book "is to push the visibility of design thinking in business and the social sector to new places and demonstrate that design has an even broader role to play in achieving creative organizational and even civic outcomes." They achieve this goal by providing an abundance on in formation, insights, and counsel while examining "ten vivid illustrations of organizations and their man agers and design partners doing just that -- using design thinking in ways that work."

Obviously, it would be a fool's errand for any reader to attempt to adapt and adopt all of the material provided. However, once having read and (hopefully) re-read the book, most readers will be well-prepared to use design thinking to determine which portions of the material are most appropriate to the needs, interests, strategic objectives, and resources of the given enterprise.

To those who found this book as valuable as I did, I presume to recommend another: Rotman on Design: The Best on Design Thinking from Rotman Magazine, co-edited by Roger Martin and Karen Christensen, published by University of Toronto Press. Jeanne Liedtka is among the contributors.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading 11 Oct 2013
By Jeffrey Heilbrunn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The essence of the book gives you a paradigm for thinking. I used the paradigm in a recent MBA business policy class along with the Ten Types of Innovation. Try using the basic concepts in the design of innovation in all parts of the business. For this I give it Five Stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solving Problems with Design Thinking - great, innovative book, loved the case studies! 5 Oct 2013
By B. C. Roth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Tremendously insightful book. Especially loved chapter 2! Jeanne Liedtka is a profound pioneer for Design Thinking. Must read - will change the way you think about business.
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