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Hi to All in the cafe!

I am just getting into the concept and methodologies of design thinking and would like to share this relatively new approach to business strategy with all who are interested.

On Monday this week I attended a "conversation" held by Roger Martin at the Ontario Academy of Art and Design (OCAD) in Toronto, Canada. He is the Dean of the School of Management at the University of Toronto and gave an expose of his new book "The Design of Business". He is considered one of the foremost design thinkers in the world.

For all those who want to explore what "abductive reasoning" is ( which is the tool of the design thinker), you can find out about it in his book here:

Also, this is a link to a video presentation of Martin's that about 30 minutes long. It was for a design conference in late 2009:

You can also check out my latest blog where I summarise the ideas that comprise design thinking. See :

As I learn more I will update you here, and you can always follow my blog as well where I share more personalized views of my ideas on many more topics than design thinking.
I do hope to connect with others from around the world who are implementing the design approach in business. I hope you can share what you've done, what your challenges are etc.

Thanks for reading!

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Comment by Franis Engel on June 6, 2010 at 2:51pm
Your blog articulates an amazing real-life story that is one of the "gems" of innovation and how it can happen effectively. Telling in more detail about how you pulled together the strands of meaning and people for that one particular purpose that made it possible would be a great service those who aspire to effective social transformation. You need to tell that story in more detail for humanity's sake!

Martin's term "abductive" is much too general to be very useful. Edward de Bono goes into what constitutes lateral thinking in much more detail - how to educate for it's use as a skill, as well as how to use it now if you possess the natural talent for the skill. His example is based on a very simple graphic:

Because of the direction of travel, the opening to the side path is easily passed by, unrecognized. But once you have taken the lateral leap of creative thinking to get there, you backtrack to the goal with ease. The logic of the course being shorter and more efficient is easily recognized.
Comment by Shireen Ali on June 6, 2010 at 7:22am
Whoa, somebody read that blog? Lol
Thanks Franis, that particular one was very hard to write. It was an exercise to stretch my imagination to see if what I had accomplished could possibly fit into the 'abductive reasoning' framework.

Edward De Bono seems very interesting indeed and I will definitely look into his work, so thanks for sharing this resource.
At this point I am honestly not sure I fully understand Martin's exposition of the term 'abductive reasoning", nor that I have applied it correctly, so I would welcome De Bono's insights.

Some days I literally tremble with excitement at how the internet is transforming the top down ways of learning that we grew up with. How many great ideas were never known simply because people did not have the means to communicate instantaneously with the world at large, or to communicate at all.
Comment by Franis Engel on June 6, 2010 at 2:33am
The importance and need for design thinking appears to have been originated by Edward de Bono, a grandfather of creative thinking and author of over 80 books on the subject. Aside from introducing activities of creative design thinking in his many books and courses, De Bono invents words. for instance, "lateral" thinking was one of de Bono's words that has made it into dictionaries. The meaning of "lateral thinking" of de Bono's is quite similar to Martin's word "abductive reasoning." Haven't read Martin's book yet, but "lateral thinking" may have an identical meaning to "abductive reasoning."

Who was it that said, "The key to being considered creative is hiding one's sources" ?

This new word de Bono has recently invented describes the ability to be functional in the world and make things happen. Aside from featuring the importance of design thinking, he proposes the new word: operacy, used a key foundation skill that would be partnered with literacy and numeracy.

Cool that you would recognize the importance of expanding the many skills needed for design thinking too! Your story on your blog of being a part of designing a new heuristic solution is an encouraging one to read. Many people would have caved into the demands of the status quo in your situation, but you rose to the occasion beyond the call of self interest and fear into the realm of innovators!
Comment by Arshad Malik on May 12, 2010 at 7:09pm
Thanks Shireen, It was great listening to Martin -- and enjoying the idea of Knowledge funnel and abductive reasoning.

Congratualtions, you are doing a great service, 'sharing truly valuable ideas'
Arshad Malik


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