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Stepping Up: Design Thinking Has Uncovered Real Opportunities

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Kevin McCullagh, Founder and Director, Plan, London


Taking a contrarian pose, Kevin McCullagh, founder and director of Plan, a London-based product strategy consultancy, asks two questions: ""Why is design thinking such a hot topic with executives, yet leaves so many designers cold? And, does the demand for design thinking represent more of an opportunity than the thinking itself?"" McCullagh observes that just as business leaders started to pick up on this idea, designers began to back away. Why? ""The design process was not developed for the big problems design thinkers want to tackle,"" he answers. ""Design thinkers over-simplify by presenting design to business as a clear and codified process of methods, tools, and steps.... This pitch skips over the pivotal importance of talent and craft""-and in the process demeans designers. McCullagh is not suggesting that designers go back to their drawing tables-he believes they need to step up their game and go beyond the context of user-centered design to become the visionaries they originally were.




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Design Thinking, Design Leadership, Design Management

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