Monday, February 28, 2011

What is Design Thinking Anyways?

Notes from reading (important points):

design thinking applies designer's abductive reasoning to business (formal logic)

deductive and inductive: grounded in science, end declaration of true or false, build on previous knowledge (standoff shoulders of the giants who have come before us)

deductive: (logic of what must be) reasons from general to specific (crow)

inductive: (logic of what is operative) reasons from specific to general (small town)

William James and John Dewey explore formal declarative logic --not true and false at the end, but the process by which we come to know and understand. Knowledge acquisition not conceptual, not this abstract progression towards absolute truth, but instead dealing with inquiry and evolving interaction with context or environment.

The Pragmatist philosophers: knowledge comes only through experience

Charles Sanders Peirce: no new idea could be proved deductively or inductively using past data, new ideas did not come from conventional forms of declarative logic (inductive or deductive), therefore a third must exist.

First step of reasoning is not observing (deductive/inductive), but wondering, "logical leaps of the mind." Abductive reasoning. Not declarative because it does not ask to seek a true or false, but modal reasoning, because it seeks to post what could possible be true.

Abductive thinking scares businesspeople, can fail designers if they are not aware of what is technologically feasible, and must make business sense to succeed.

Balance in three types of reasoning.

About Author:

Roger Martin:

Dean of Rotman School of Management since 1998

Writes extensively on design, regular columnist for BusinessWeek's Innovation and Design Channel, author of "The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitve Advantage"

In order to be innovative in business, we must not rely exclusively on analytical thinking (that refines current knowledge) and turn to design thinking (from mystery to heuristic, a rule of thumb that guides us to a solution, to algorithm, a predictable formula for producing an answer).

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