We all agree: Design Thinking is NOT about process. The process is the framework and the enabler. The Designer/Thinker and the quality of his/her Thinking is what makes the difference. ALWAYS.

The process is like a brush for a painter: you need that brush to paint. But give that brush to Picasso or Michelangelo OR give it to your kid or to a less talented adult and you will see very different results.

Unfortunately more and more a few “intellectuals” in our design world are getting tired of these two words...

Some of them because they saw it associated to the failures of few projects or - worse - of few enterprises that have embraced it (in the wrong way). Few failures amongst many wins. Those businesses have failed because they embraced the “process” instead of the “thinking” and they have hired poor designers to drive it. It happens. As it happens in marketing, in R&D, in finance, in HR, and in all other functions and communities. Killing “DESIGN THINKING” because a few designers failed implementing it and because the focus was too much on the process VS the Thinking is like killing “MARKETING” because a bunch of bad marketers didn’t do a good job with it.

Some others criticize Design Thinking simply because they need to go against the latest mass trend or worst because they wanna build their own personal brand - often they are authors or they own a design firm - by going against the “established” way of thinking: isn’t it in the nature of designers to keep innovating? That includes eventually innovating our own definition as community and the one of our own methodologies. But is it healthy for our community? Is it good? In this case it is not.

“DESIGN THINKING” is nothing more than our way of “thinking” + “doing” (“Doing” is the “Design” part of Design Thinking) as designers and it’s a definition that FINALLY has given our design community the credibility deserved for many years and mostly a seat at the table to play a real strategic role in driving innovation and business growth. That Innovation and business growth that BY THE WAY will give us also - and mostly - the opportunity to positively touch the life of millions of people with our work and finally build a better society.

DESIGN THINKING is a BRAND for designers: as many brands, it adds a layer of credibility, familiarity and safety to our community and to our work in front of the business community. We talk a lot about Design Thinking as process as that’s factual, reliable and scalable, but the reality is that Design Thinking is process associated to the best “thinkers” and “doers”, able to leverage with extraordinary talent the tools of the design community. Without talented thinkers and doers there is not good Design Thinking. Obviously.

Killing Design Thinking today is a suicide for the Design community. Let’s embrace Design Thinking instead for what it is, let’s defend it, and let’s leverage it to then drive the best ideas to market, to build sustainable business growth and to change the world in a positive way.

This video is an extract from a panel at BRAINSTORM DESIGN 2018 in Singapore by Time Inc, Fortune and Wallpaper Magazine.

Full video here: https://youtu.be/TWwTN1pS2eg

Mauro Porcini

Mauro Porcini

SVP & Chief Design Officer at PepsiCo

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