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The Designful Company: How to Build a Culture of Nonstop InnovationThe Designful Company: How to Build a Culture of Nonstop Innovation by Marty Neumeier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mr. Neumeier writes from the position of somebody: + who knows how to write, and + who has experience with what design and innovation is.

The most important claim in this book for me was a clear confidence that design management is never to be outsourced. But at the same time many of the design skills should always be outsourced. For me, very useful point.

The second important thing for me was that companies that are growing or if they want to grow, would need a Chief Design Officer or Chief Brand Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, VP of Creativity – you name it. I really couldn’t agree more. I even have a presentation on the subject, its in Slovene, if you understand some, here you’ll find it: Design Strategies and Economy.

Than there are some other things I’m glad I found out.
+ In 1990’s Samsung paid employees in Innovation Design Lab to study in their new building design six days a week for a year long. !!! Now they have a 380 company-trained designers that are helping to launch 100 products per year. In Slovenia some academics have proposed that a former textile giant Mura should have around 500 designer but I doubt that the managers are listening.

+ In the book there is an interesting approach presented to the innovation process, called stage-gate innovation. In four stages it goes from seed money to develop concept to small bet to develop strategy to medium bet to model and test, and to large bet to launch in market.

+ One question with a pretty good answer. How do you get a bunch of independent minded professionals to play nice together? By establishing sensible rules of engagement. Easy to say, harder to put in real life in my opinion.

+ And than there is a fascinating scheme what should actually CEO-s do. If the want to be visionary leaders they need to become managers of stories. The scheme goes into six categories. Really fascinating.

+ To me even more fascinating scheme in the book. About deep design. It goes from Ideology, Resonance, Emotion, Reason, Perception to Vision, Identity, Culture, Products, Brands. Wow!

And three things for the end to remember:

1. What is third brain thinking? Thinking with logic and inspiration. Design thinking. Simple. Design thinkers tend to be: empathetic, intuitive, imaginative, idealistic. This is why future should be designed, not decided. Because difference and design bring together the delight.

2. Design is moving from “toasters and posters” to include processes, systems and organisations.

3. Not least. Design will force Wall Street to change the rules of investing. Yes, I toast to that.

Is there something funny about this book? Yes. If we want to describe the creative process this is something deeper as wedding is describing sex. Was that understood? I guess not.

View all my reviews

Picture: Marty Neumeier
Marty-Neumeier-cover-dark

Marko Savić
I’m raising awareness of the connection of business model innovation with design thinking. Have just published a book on business models design. You may wish to hire me or contact me for coaching, research&development or other assignments.

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