in Business Design

Focusing on business design

At the Information Architecture Summit there was a strong thread of interest in business and management (my hypothesis for this centers on two trends: the population bell curve places many IAs at an age where they are rapidly moving into management for the first time, and as a discipline IAs have already invented many of the technical skills they need to get that job done). In this environment many were interested in my new-ish company — Management Innovation Group — and appreciated our approach. Our chats started early and ended late and I heard many helpful ideas and skepticism, especially from the wise and thoughtful Jess McMullin. That’s going to fuel many of my future posts here; you’ve been warned.

The approach has been termed Business Design, though that framing of it isn’t entirely satisfactory. My working definition is The application of design thinking to business strategy and operations. I’ll talk more about what I mean by design thinking in future posts, but for now the best description I know is Jeanne Liedtka’s essay Strategy as Design in the Rotman design issue (.pdf), required reading on the subject.