The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage
Roger L. Martin
Publication Date
November 2009
Harvard Business School Press
FROM AMAZON.COM: Most companies today have innovation envy. They yearn to come up with a game-changing innovation like Apple's iPod, or create an entirely new category like Facebook. Many make genuine efforts to be innovative-they spend on R&D, bring in creative designers, hire innovation consultants. But they get disappointing results.

Why? In The Design of Business, Roger Martin offers a compelling and provocative answer: we rely far too exclusively on analytical thinking, which merely refines current knowledge, producing small improvements to the status quo.

To innovate and win, companies need design thinking. This form of thinking is rooted in how knowledge advances from one stage to another-from mystery (something we can't explain) to heuristic (a rule of thumb that guides us toward solution) to algorithm (a predictable formula for producing an answer) to code (when the formula becomes so predictable it can be fully automated). As knowledge advances across the stages, productivity grows and costs drop-creating massive value for companies.

Martin shows how leading companies such as Procter & Gamble, Cirque du Soleil, RIM, and others use design thinking to push knowledge through the stages in ways that produce breakthrough innovations and competitive advantage.

Filled with deep insights and fresh perspectives, The Design of Business reveals the true foundation of successful, profitable innovation.

The Design of Business Filed under: design thinking, innovation, business.
 Rate this book
Guest tags and ratings are provisional. Sign in to confirm.
One Comment
Damian Kernahan on June 21, 2010 11:44am
I thought the funnel was a useful construct and was my only take-away from this book sadly. Having said that, I have used it with great effect to explain the journey that a client journey may take.
The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage
By Roger L. Martin
Share your perspective. Does this book belong in the service design canon? What are the most important points to take away? Please share any links to reviews or other information regarding this book or its themes.
Your Name *
E-mail Address *
Check your inbox for confirmation after you submit your comment. Follow the link in the e-mail for approval. You should only need to do this once.
  1. The Knowledge Funnel
  2. The Reality Bias
  3. Design Thinking
  4. Transforming the Corporation
  5. The Balancing Act
  6. World-Class Explorers
  7. Getting Personal