Gaps in organizational leadership : linking strategic and operational activities through design-led propositions
Bucolo, Sam, Wrigley, Cara, & Matthews, Judy H. (2012) Gaps in organizational leadership : linking strategic and operational activities through design-led propositions. Design Management Journal, 7(1), pp. 18-28.
The relationship between design process and business systems has been of interest to both practitioners and researchers exploring the numerous opportunities and challenges of this unlikely relationship. Often the relationship is presented as building design thinking capability within an organization, which can be broadly described as the union of design and strategy. Brown (2008) notes that design thinking is ‘‘a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technically feasible and what business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunities’’ (p. 1). The value that design thinking brings to an organization is a different way of framing situations and possibilities, doing things, and tackling problems: essentially a cultural transformation of the way it undertakes its business. The work of Martin (2009) has clearly shown the generalized differences between design thinking and business thinking, highlighting many instances in which these differences have been overcome, but also noting the many obstacles of trying to unify both approaches within an organization. Liedtka (2010) encourages firms to try and persist in overcoming these barriers, as she has noted that ‘‘business strategy desperately needs design ... because design is all about action and business strategy too often turns out to be only about talk ... fewer than 10 percent of new strategies are ever fully executed’’ (p. 9).
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