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Hot Insights From The Institute of Design Conference.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on May 18, 2006

I had to cut short my Patrick Whitney ID conference to get back to work on the launch of INside Innovation but I certainly got a huge amount of new IP in just one day and it is still going on—check out this blog of the innovation conference.

If you’ve never heard Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management (or read his column on our I&D channel), you should seek him out and get his incredible talk on Reliability Vs. Validity. I think it may be in the current issue of Rotman—the Magazine of the Rotman School of Management—which we all should be reading (the current issue is on The Creative Age). Wait, yes it is in there. Go get it! Roger lays out the what he calls “designing in hostile territory” issues in big corporations. In short, the business side believes in reliability—the production of consistent outcomes, with substantiation based on past data and designers believe in validity—the production of outcomes that meet objectives, with substantiation based on future events. Reliability minimizes judgement and variables. Validity integrates judgement and uses lots of variables.

Talk about talking past one another. Martin tells designers and innovation consultants to stop whining about how the business side doesn’t “get them” and begin to take design unfriendliness simply as a design challenge. Empathisize and understand the biz folks, use biz language and the language of reliability to explain ideas and use analogies and stories (your competitor, company x uses design to maximize profits this way, etc.).

Sound advice from Roger who is incredibly good on his feet in front of an audience. If you want to get your company to get serious about innovation, tell them to give Roger Martin — or Patrick Whitney who is pretty good on his feet too— a call.

There are podcasts from the conference as well. And photos. Check me out with Blaise Zerenga, who is going to head the new Conde Nast mag on business. Blaise is ex-Wired. A very cool guy.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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