Design of Business

Innovation has become the holy grail of modern organizational life.  The vast majority of organizations, whether for-profit or not, big or small, are frustrated by the slow pace and low level of innovation to which they find themselves limited. Unbeknownst to them, analytical thinking, which is the predominant thinking pattern in their organizations, inadvertently suppresses innovation and creativity. 

I have found that in order to overcome this limitation, organizations need to incorporate the best of design thinking into their ways of working. I explored this theme in my 2009 book, The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage. I show how an organization can counter-balance analytical thinking with intuitive thinking to enable it to both exploit existing knowledge and explore to create new knowledge.  The former enables it to prosper today while the latter ensures that will be able to build advantage for the future.

My work on the Design of Business covers a wide array of themes:

  • Why business people and designers have such a challenge working productively with each other – and what they can do about it;
  • Why there is a battle in most organizations between the desire for reliability – the production of a consistent replicable outcome – and for validity – the production of an outcome that is highly desired;
  • Why reliability tends to dominate and how organizations can achieve a more productive balance;
  • How organizations can link design principles to business strategies to produce systematic and consistent innovation.
My overall goal is to help organizations design their business to achieve a consistently higher level of innovation and creativity.

on design of business


  • Harvard Business Review

    Design for Action

    September 2015



  • Steelcase Threesixty Magazine

    On Innovation and Why Companies Struggle with It


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