Prototyping Businesses: Plan vs. Play

If somebody asks me what can you learn from design thinking from a business strategy point of view. I would point to this, from the design thinkers at Second Road.

photo credit: Rosenfeld Media via photopin ccphoto credit: Rosenfeld Media via photopin cc photo credit: Rosenfeld Media via photopin cc

The entrepreneurial approach, as I saw it playing out at The Pollenizer, is primarily about learning. It is explorative and interested in making discoveries and changes. What will happen if I do this? What kind of response will I get if I try that?’ It does this in an extremely intuitive and lightweight kind of way, and it uses each new finding to change the way it operates, informing the next experiment.

While the strategic approach is undeniably about learning as well, it is far more concerned about the efficacy of the design—‘Is it doing what I intended it to be doing? Am I getting the results I need to be getting? Is it running to plan?’ The strategist typically wants the plan to be right’, and wants the outcome to be what he or she has intended. However, since the strategist isn’t approaching things as an experiment but rather as a plan, she or he is often only looking at the strict metrics and goals pre-determined to be worth measuring. Since attention is only being paid to what is being measuring, the strategist often ignores or accidentally misses wider lesson or trends. When unexpected things do occur and are noticed, the strategist will often have a great deal of difficulty making changes and adapting.


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