One of the most insightful minds on design thinking and innovation is now blogging—IDEO’s Tim Brown. Tim is writing a book on the subject off his recent Harvard Business Review piece and the blog is his way of sharing ideas and opening a wider discussion.
There are three things I really like about Tim’s blog. It delves deeply into the evolving field of design thinking, examing how it is different from—and better than—the efficiency/Six Sigma models we still live by today. It’s nitty gritty stuff. Critical. Design thinking is developing into a powerful methodology to solve problems and guide us in an era of incedible and shocking change. It is a process of managing and optimizing a large number of new options, as opposed to a system of dealing efficiently with a small number of existing choices.
I also like social impact focus of Tim’s blog. I recently gave a speech at the annual conference of the Industrial Designers’ Society of America in Phoenix and said that moving out of the silo of business culture into civic society was essential for the evolution of innovation and design thinking (much less essential for solving problems in education, transportation, and the entire non-profit sphere). Tim has quietly involved IDEO and himself personally into the growing social innovation movement that is embracing design and design thinking to raise the economic standing of people at the bottom of the pyramid. Design and innovation consultancies, such as Continuum and Monitor, as well as IDEO, are working with the Rockefeller Foundation on new projects. More on that in later posts.
Finally, I like the design of Tim’s blog. It is clean, clear, crisp and concise. Who designed it Tim? You?