Change by Design: Feasiblity, Viability, Desirability

By Shlomo Maital

  “Simplify as much as possible”,  Einstein counselled.  (And indeed he did…).

   But he added an escape clause.

   “But not more so!”

    Can we simplify the ‘secret sauce of success’ for innovation?  Without leaving out anything essential?

    Author Tim Brown has.  Here is his revised, updated book on Change by Design.  The formula has only three ingredients. The key is ‘design thinking’, implemented most powerfully by Brown’s design consulting company IDEO, which he leads. 

                     1.  Feasibility.   2.  Desirability.  3.  Viability

    Feasibility:  Can you do it?  Is the technology enabler practical, do-able, reachable, after, of course, very long hard work in the lab?

    Desirability:  If you do it, make it, provide it widely – will people like it?  Use it?  Buy it?  Want it?  How do you know? 

    Viability: Can you sustain it?  Can you grow it?  Can you scale it?  Is there a business model here?  What is it?   

     The mnemic for the ‘secret sauce’ is  Damn Fine Vision:  DFV.  Does your idea satisfy DFV?  

     Brown wants us innovators to aim high.  Tackle wicked problems, he urges:  Really really tough, hard problems that are long unsolved, have no obvious solution despite many tries.  Aim high. 

     Brown also offers us a proven method.  Diverge, then converge.  My co-author and I have developed this idea independently, as “Zoom Out Zoom in”.* 

    First, gather many wild ideas (diverge).  Then converge – weed out the bad ones, keep the good ones.  Then diverge again.  And repeat the process, until you have DFV  Damn Fine Vision.

   *  Arie Ruttenberg, Shlomo Maital. Cracking the Creativity Code.  SAGE (India), 2014.