In Mintzberg’s “Strategy Safari” he devotes one chapter to The Design School: Strategy Formation as a Process of Conception. But his description of the cognitive act of design is different from the classic Herbert Simon description. So I appreciated discovering Liedtka’s In Defense of Strategy as Design (pdf), summarized…
This article proposes management reconsider the usefulness of the metaphor of design as a prescription for strategy making, arguing against Henry Mintzberg’s view that it is not appropriate. It reviews literature from the field of design and defines a set of attributes of the design process – which is synthetic, abductive, hypothesis-driven, opportunistic, dialectical, inquiring, and value-driven. The article examines the parallels between designing and creating business strategy and presents the implications of such an approach for designing the processes to design and execute strategy.
(Her Strategy as Design (2MB pdf) is an updated version of this argument.)
Now it seems Mintzberg and Liedtka have joined forces, submitting a piece titled Time for Design, “…making the case for design in management, in four approaches: formulaic, visionary, conversational, and evolving.” I’m looking forward to this one.