Migrating the practice of multidisciplinary collaboration from the product design world to the business design world can be tricky. This is especially true if taken to the level of “co-creation” — making everything together as much as is possible. There’s a bit about this in the literature (e.g. Co-Creating Health Services, HR & Management, and Fifth Generation Management), but not a lot.
Take a simple example: creating a document. Co-authoring a document with colleagues is straight-forward enough, but co-authoring it with a client is something else. The consultant is traditionally viewed as the domain expert who descends from on high to present THE DELIVERABLE (the word itself contradicts the idea of co-creation). There’s two points here: One, design thinking doesn’t rely on domain expertise, it relies on ways of doing things, such as collaboration. This allows for a productive pairing of the client’s domain expertise and the business designer’s process expertise. Two, co-creating a document goes against the grain of 100 years of consulting convention, so education is required along the way.
Something as simple as co-creating a document requires carefully balancing the roles of collaborator and trusted advisor. This isn’t your father’s consulting practice.