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Should Business People Fear Design Thinkers?

Posted on: 29 mar 2013

The power of a successful collaboration.

. . . This post inspired by Brian Gillespie post titled, Should Designers Fear Design-Thinking MBA's? 

In my opinion,  business people fear design thinkers and viceversa. It is a mutual fear.

Very few business people know how to work in a creative context and with creative professionals such as designers or design thinkers. Most of them don't like to work with creative profiles because they don't understand them. Some of them distrust of creatives, and some others take them for granted: It's just a "nice to have".

This mutual distrust is caused by a historical gap full of misunderstandings, bad experiences and cultural stereotypes that can be overcome by communicating and acknowledging  each others' expertises. 

In order to be successful in creating and supporting the innovations, both (designer and business person) need to learn the language of finance and marketing and the language of creativity that  will empower both in their discussions to argue strategically and creatively. 

In your post you ask designers to educate themselves on business aspects. I agree and add: Business people must educate themselves also on the pertinent aspects of creativity.

Teaching design thinking principles to business students as MBA electives is very necessary: As you said, these courses do not enable them to develop unique capabilities that can generate business transformation by design, such as the ability to reflect the customer voice through design research and analysis, to visualize and communicate complex information, or to create, test, and evaluate advanced prototypes. This takes a design education, followed by experience, focus, and maturity but, it is a great start for business people to understand creative processes, learn creative language and overcome their fear to work with professionals that probably think (and act...) different than they do.

As you said, 
"It is not about a world where designers do their thing and MBAs do theirs, but rather where both recognize and value the power of a successful collaboration, built on solid communication, that brings the strengths of business and design thinking together to drive business innovation by design".

Thank you Brian Gillespie , great post!

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