Design Thinking on Failure & Reliability

“...managers have to court failure if they are going to solve mysteries…”

Check out the videos below to hear Dean Roger Martin talk about Design Thinking and Integrative Thinking – two things that Rotman is becoming very well known for. They are both elusive concepts and, to be honest, even as students we don’t “get” them all the time. But they are both focused on a certain way of thinking and we definitely do a lot of thinking at Rotman!

Roger talks about how design thinking has been used successfully at companies such as McDonald’s, RIM, Cirque du Soleil and Proctor & Gamble. He says that other schools focus on analyzing business. This is not only overrated but dangerous b/c it only takes into account things that you can measure quantitatively without any kind of bias/judgement involved. It excludes things outside that inherently matter.

Design Thinking also spurs on innovation. One of the biggest obstacles to innovation is reliability. This affects internal corporate departments the most. These departments, such as HR, Finance, etc. are focused on being reliable because there is no internal competition. Since I work in HR currently, this is definitely a concept that I have constantly been bringing back to work during my time here at Rotman. How can we, as an internal department, remain competitive so to speak to ensure that we are always supporting the organization’s strategy? Roger also talks about how organizations focus on having reliable share prices each quarter but this inhibits innovation. Analysts will beat up companies if their share price falls so there is little motivation for a company to innovate.

Roger offers this advice if you want to become a Design Thinker – do two things every week:

1. deepen your mastery;

2. nurture your originality (did i try something i haven’t tried before?)

Oh and check out DesignWorks!



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