black - innovation copilots

The design thinking craze

Natasha JEN formulates a very calm and articulate deconstruction of the designthinking craze.

Just like open innovation, lean methodologies, effectuation, or intrapreneurship… design thinking is a methodology that is better at selling the idea that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to every corporate strategic hurdles, than actually delivering anything real.

You can’t understand where your market is going? Let’s stick some post-it’s on a glass wall, magic will ensue for sure!

As Natasha or every professional whose income is directly linked to the actual success of the insights he/she delivers, I feel compelled to call bullshit when I see it.

I was calling bullshit on intrapreneurship in 2014 well before the Harvard Review decided to wake up a month ago:

(HBR caught at being the FOX News of management research: let’s promote whatever sells clicks and paper, and then let’s renounce them overnight when they don’t anymore.)

And you’ll see more and more bullshit called on startups before the end of the year. Fads and hype and trends are necessary evils. They signal discomfort and a readiness for change in the industry. The mistake would be to jump on anything that sounds too good to be true.

Last week Stéphanie was publishing a short video on how mentoring started to transform and reshape Wordline’s culture from within.

It took four fucking years to get there!

Not that first quick wins were not acquired within a year, but any significative organization change takes blood, time and money — when I say blood, be reassured that this is not too often in a literal way.

When everyone is an overnight expert of strategic transformation, industrial design, business models you should ask yourself if you’d hire an overnight expert in merger and acquisitions, or flying the plane that will take your family to your favorite vacation spot.

In management consulting as well, feel free to apply common sense.

Published by

Philippe Méda

Philippe has been training about 200 startups a year since 2007, consulted for dozens of multinationals on rupture innovation or corporate incubation. He also teaches innovation in key MBA programs in Paris and Shanghai.