John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen

Most businesses accept design as inherited. The business model, pricing, functions, sales pitch, deal structure—nearly everything—is treated as predefined by the existing models, costs, and pricing that already exist in the company and/or the industry. Idea generation is viewed as the creative part, and execution as standard. If a company has a design sensibility at all, it applies almost exclusively to the sensory elements we … [ Read more ]

Lao Tzu

Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub,
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel,
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room,
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there,
Usefulness from what is not there.

Antoine de Saint Exupery

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Tim Brown

We have to rely both on analysis and synthesis. Analysis—taking complex things and studying and understanding them—is very useful for knowing how well something is going to work and how you might improve it or make it more efficient. It’s not very good for coming up with major new ideas. There we have to be able to synthesize many competing ideas or competing insights—even if … [ Read more ]

Stephen Hay

Design legend Paul Rand once said that design is the method of putting form and content together. This implies that content is as important as form. Design is not a purely visual exercise. The results are visual, but the entire process of design is not.

Some would argue that creativity is a sudden flash of insight, something which just happens magically while one, perhaps, takes their … [ Read more ]

Maneesh Mehta

When companies and creators talk about design today, their focus tends to be on new product development. Such a focus, however, generally leads to increasing complexity, higher operating costs and higher risk of failure, creating a vicious spiral that drives customers away and destroys shareholder value.

Process and service innovations do just the opposite, by creating a virtuous circle — attracting and retaining customers by improving … [ Read more ]

Jeanne Liedtka

Because design solutions are always matters of invented choice, rather than discovered truth, the judgment of designers is always open to question by the broader public.

…this notion of the inevitable need to justify to others the ‘rightness’ of the design choices made – is perhaps the most significant implication for the design of strategy processes in business organizations. Because strategic choices can never be … [ Read more ]