Tag Archives: design thinking

Systemic design thinking and complex adaptive systems

Going back to first principles has been a refreshing exercise. Even as our work has taken us into some wholly new places, there’s comfort in knowing that others have thought deeply about the concepts, though not in our context. I’m a firm believer in not re-inventing the wheel. Consider it a working prototype to be […]

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Does the human-centered design industry believe in it’s own process?

Listening to users, and incorporating their feedback is considered the key differentiator for the practice of human-centered design. Yet, one wonders, if the design industry has understood that this philosophy must necessarily include the feedback from their clients as well. That is, while we are all aware of the navel gazing tendencies displayed by design […]

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“Unlearn the past to create the future”

The late Michigan University management professor, CK Prahalad, is best known for his last, and most famous publication, The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. But to MBA students, management consultancies, corporate planners, and regular readers of the Harvard Business Review, he is also known for a long and distinguished career in management thought […]

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5 examples of the breadth of African led human-centered design and thinking and planning

The other day I was searching for news on design from the African continent and noted on Twitter that it seemed as though only the South Africans were consistently talking about their various creative outputs. Having long been part of the crowd that believed in the indigenous creativity and innovation in the less visible parts […]

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People-centered systems design thinking out loud

This morning I was pondering the complexity involved in weaving together four separate threads of ‘innovation’ into one holistic system. They were not unrelated to each other, and the end users are more or less the same for each, but each is also a standalone solution to a pain point in an ecosystem. I was […]

Posted in Biashara Economics, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, UCSD, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

@Prepaid Africa Connecting Dots – October 2015

October was a busy month for us – The African Development Bank hosted their first Innovation Weekend in Abidjan from the 9th to the 11th of October. Our contribution was thinking about the problems we face as the starting point for new venture design. Savvy young people from across Francophone West Africa gathered to conceptualize […]

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10 years later: Will buying Lunar Design make McKinsey more nimble?

Around 10 years ago, I’d made this rough sketch of the innovation consulting landscape as I saw it at the time. The overlap of business and design was the topic du jour, and IDEO had just begun seeding the media with stories of the Empathy Economy and the magic of “design thinking”. Today*, peterme’s blogpost […]

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The Value Creator’s Dilemma: Opportunity and Growth in a Dog eat Dog World

There are two mindsets – the ‘competitive’ mindset where the market is believed to be finite in scope and scale, that assumes that resources are scarce, an approach to strategy based on solely on the competitive aspects of fundamental frameworks like Porter’s Five Forces. Or as I see it, a zero sum game. That is, […]

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New Market Analysis: It all boils down to Interpretation

This isn’t a new diagram for anyone familiar with my writing. Its a diagram I’ve been using to explain where my work fits into the innovation development process since I first saw it on Luke Wroblewski’s blog back in 2006. However, I’ve just been struck forcibly by the realization that there’s a very important piece […]

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Thinking like a user centered designer about brand management

Design is fundamentally a value system, a set of principles, that is then manifested in tangible form. Conventionally, this has been known as setting the design criteria. However, rather than specification guidelines, as used in engineering, if one were to change metrics and numbers into values or emotional responses, one could, in fact, create a […]

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