Summary of The Design of Business

How Design Thinking Creates Competitive Advantage

Harvard Business Review Press, more...

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The Design of Business book summary
Logic and intuition are not enough to achieve long-run success for a business. Your company needs design thinking.


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9 Innovation

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Roger Martin’s book on business design is subtle yet profound. He guides you to rethink the way you conceptualize business decisions so you can shift to “design thinking.” Using an approach rooted in both practice and theory, Martin cites examples ranging from Cirque du Soleil to McDonald’s. He urges you to reconsider your leadership model and organizational structures, and to exercise “abductive logic,” thinking that moves through “logical leaps of the mind.” Martin’s call for action is bold and enjoyable. He offers innovation and regeneration as the rewards for accepting his challenge to balance validity and reliability. getAbstract recommends his book to designers, those who work with them, and anyone charged with managing innovation or organizational redesign.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What “design thinking” is
  • How business design works
  • How to apply design thinking in your organization
  • How to build design knowledge


“Design Thinking” and the “Knowledge Funnel”
Two common perspectives prevail on how to create value in business. One side attaches importance to “analytical thinking,” logic and certainty. The other side emphasizes “intuitive thinking” and raw creativity. On the surface, the two seem ...
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About the Author

Roger Martin is dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and author of The Opposable Mind, as well as numerous other works.

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