The upshot, says Martin, is nothing less than the emergence of the design economy -- the successor to the information economy, and, before it, the service and manufacturing economies. And that shift, he argues, has profound implications for every business leader and manager among us: "Businesspeople don't just need to understand designers better -- they need to become designers."
In a global economy, elegant design is becoming a critical competitive advantage. Trouble is, most business folks don't think like designers. (Moi ici: E os políticos? E os burocratas? E os macro-economistas? E os contabilistas? E os consultores?)
In a recent interview in Toronto, Martin asserted that real value creation now comes from using the designer's foremost competitive weapon, his imagination, to peer into a mystery -- a problem that we recognize but don't understand -- and to devise a rough solution that explains it. "For any company that chooses to innovate, the foremost challenge is this," Martin says. "Are you willing to step back and ask, 'What's the problem we're trying to solve?' Well, that's what designers do: They take on a mystery, some abstract challenge, and they try to create a solution.
The trouble is, when confronted with a mystery, most linear business (Moi ici: lanchesterianos) types resort to what they know best: They crunch the numbers, analyze, and ultimately redefine the problem "so it isn't a mystery anymore; it's something they've done 12 times before," Martin says. Most don't avail themselves of the designer's tools -- they don't think like designers -- and so they are ill-prepared for an economy where the winners are determined by design.
And that, Martin claims, means traditional organizations must reinvent themselves to perform more like design shops. In this new world, there are fewer fixed, permanent assignments. Instead, work flows from project to project, and people organize their lives around their projects, just as in a design shop. (Moi ici: Tabu!!! Vida de artista saltimbanco!!! Precariedade!!! Portfolio de projectos! Trabalhar sem rede! Em suma, um resumo da vida que levo e que não quero trocar por nada!!!!!!)"