IBM’s got a plan to bring Design Thinking to Big Business, published on WIRED

We want to shift our culture towards a focus on users’ outcomes, according to Charlie Hill, chief technology officer of IBM Design.

IBM is not a design company. Of its nearly 400.000 employees, few could rightly be described as aesthetes; of its assorted products, many seem to be of the “function over form” variety. And yet, if you look past its pocket-protector reputation, there’s little doubt that IBM is angling—more aggressively than any corporation of its size—to become a leading design company in the most literal sense of the phrase.

Of course, IBM is far from the originator of the corporate trend in Design Thinking. The movement’s watershed moment, as a business methodology, came in the late 1980s, when David Kelley of Ideo popularized the idea of user-centered design.

Design Thinking is nothing if not a jumble of buzzwords artfully arranged into a business plan, and IBM has created its own glossary of terms for its scaled methodology. The company’s version of design thinking centers around something it calls “the loop.” Visualized, the loop is an infinity symbol punctuated with four dots—the yellow dot representing the user, the green dots representing the various actions of “observe,” “reflect,” and “make.”

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