Wednesday, May 27, 2009

On Business and Design: the discipline of Business Design

Graduation has put me out of circulation for a while, but here I am again.

In one of my previous posts I mentioned my struggles with how Business and Design can talk better to each other. IDEO's Ryan Jacoby has posted about the curriculum of a discipline that would be the perfect marriage between both worlds: Business Design. Quoting his reply to one of the comments in his post:

[..] "I’m not envisioning a "business for designers" curriculum or a "design for business-types" curriculum. It isn’t Design+Business or Business+Design, but instead the program would be focused on the new discipline of business design: a practical mix of entrepreneurship, commerce and art all with the "making" focus you mention.
" [..]

This brings together a lot of interesting things I have been in touch with lately: my Customer Development, New Product Development, Design as Competitive Advantage and Open Innovation classes, the clinics at the Berkeley Institute of Design ... Now that I am done with my MBA I am all fired up about putting it to practice in a start-up I will be collaborating with during the summer. Additional info to come in the next days.

Let me conclude by pointing at the Cult of Done Manifesto, a link I also got from Jacoby's blog. This is all about the importance of doing, failing fast and often and learning [and enjoying it] along the way.

1 comment:

Santiago said...

The folowing comments are from Lora Oehlberg from the Berkeley Institute of Design (and top 1 in my list of graduate teaching assistants at Haas...)

"It's interesting because to me, "design" is a verb (or a very, very vague noun), so "business design" totally makes sense to me. That said, design tends to be a loaded word that implies creativity, which a lot of people I guess are scared to adopt or apply to themselves?

The article on teaching business + design is interesting... a part of me wonders to what extent it's subject matter as opposed to the pedagogical approach. What if simply the format of business school was different? What if the classrooms were colorful and playful? What if there was more project-based learning instead of case studies and little, unrelated assignments?

I think that can be separated out from what's "design attitude/culture" – embracing failures, giving and receiving criticism, handling ideas brutally (dump them out and hack them down), playfulness. Oddly enough, you could probably start with what's ordinarily taught in business school, and begin to adjust it so that the same subject matter is covered, just with a different approach. I think it's possible to keep the goal of business school, but just go about it in a way where you don't have to put "design" in the title of every course... since ideally, design thinking would just be implicit in how you solve problems, and one way to go about learning about the world".