Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management, Tim Brown, head of IDEO and Will Setliff, VP, Strategy, Insights & Innovation of Target gathered on Wednesday to talk about Martin’s new book, The Design of Business. There was a great audience of top managers and design educators at Thomson Reuters. I moderated the conversation, kind of.
Here are my favorite quotes. If you were in the audience, post yours.
Roger Martin: “The business world is full of two kinds of people—builders and traders. Over the past 20-30 years, traders have increasingly ruled. They receive the highest compensation. We need to tame the traders.”
Tim Brown: Paraphrase here—“We can use analytics to generate new questions, not just answers. Data visualization is very powerful.”
Me: “I don’t see any intelligent design in the design of design thinking.”
Roger Martin: “27% of all graduate education is in business.”
Will Setliff: paraphrase—“We have to reeducate people out of business schools to work at Target. We have classes and they learn what they don’t in school.”
Roger Martin: “We have to change the way we teach the scientific method. We have to ask, What is the question?”
Someone: “We need a Montessori MBA.”
I started off the discussion by saying that I was on Twitter asking people what I should ask Roger before coming and 3/4 of questions involved what to do to get Design Thinking introduced into their organizations. So I asked Roger why we are still at the stage of just beginning to bring Design into business culture. His answer? The discipline of Management Science, with its focus on reliability, totally dominates business organizations and business education. Analytics and efficiencies leave little room for intuition or the design method.
That was a bummer. But Roger is an optimist and he pointed to Target, P&G, RIM and other companies (also in his book) as examples of change.
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