When a book is truly transformational, it gives people something to talk about long after its initial publication. This can certainly be said of Tim Brown’s bestseller, Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organisations and Inspires Innovation.
A quick search will reveal glowing reviews from an impressive list of publications including Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Business Week – to name but a few. We are also proud to sing the praises of Brown’s book while recognising its ability to bring an “essential way of thinking to the forefront of business, effectively changing the way the world views and values future leaders.” To add yet another perspective, we asked an innovation expert and valued partner to chime in on the benefits that this book brings to the world of business.
Andrew Webster of ExperiencePoint, an award-winning company that develops simulations in the areas of change and innovation, was up for the challenge. Seeking to bring innovation to life for people, ExperiencePoint partnered with Brown’s global design and innovation consulting firm, IDEO, on a business simulation project. Today Webster’s primary role is to help businesses apply concepts from design thinking while working with other educators and leadership development experts.
“The book came at a time when Roger Martin released The Design of Business, an excellent book that built the business case for design thinking. Then came Brown’s book, packed with stories and anecdotes dealing with the evolution of design and the design of systems,” said Webster. “While there have been a lot of good books on design thinking released since then, Brown’s book stands out because of the case studies he can draw on, which feature design breakthroughs. After all, IDEO is at the fore of design thinking and a big reason why design now moves beyond product.”
Why does this book break the norms? Andrew believes it is because it helps organisations to embark on an important journey to see what innovation can truly look like. It challenges design and the way businesses currently approach it. As a prime example, Brown advises getting out and relying on direct user observation, rather than quantitative data alone.
“Because of this book, design thinking has become more embraced. Others have evolved the discipline and taken it in new directions, turning it upon itself,” said Webster. “It is full of provocation and follow-up stories from proven innovators. It is of value to anyone who truly wants to innovate versus incrementally improve.”