Fast Company editor John Byrne writes about how “design thinking” can help all of us reimagine the day-to-day practices of business. Welcome to the Design Revolution.
An essential part of this revolution is the idea of design as a metaphor for the future of work. We don’t need to understand designers better, writes Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, in a recent essay. We need to be designers ourselves. We “need to think and work like designers, have attitudes like designers, and learn to evaluate each other as designers do,” says Martin. “Most companies’ managers will tell you that they have spent the bulk of their time over the past decade on improvement. Now it’s no longer enough to get better, you have to ‘get different.’ ”
What does he mean? We can’t accept the notion that our dreams are constrained by our budgets. We have to believe, as designers often do, that nothing can’t be done, that constraints merely increase the challenge and excitement. We can’t be governed by narrow roles that limit our participation in creative work. We must be collaborative and iterative. And we can’t derive our status from empire building, or managing a big staff or a big budget. Status is won by meaningful contribution, by personal fulfillment and growth.