A Charter for Design Teams
Peter Merholz
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I might restate it a bit, and do think it can be more universally applied:

The practice of design is the rigorous application of empathy and analytical thinking designed to elicit understanding. By applying principles of design and design thinking we address challenges and complexity revealed through this process to deliver clear, coherent, and satisfying solutions and experiences.

I do like the idea of finding a way to define this in a way that gets design out of the pigeon-hole in which it is routinely placed. My favorite descriptor is the application of ‘abductive logic’ in a more rigorous manner (coined by Roger Martin in his excellent book The Design of Business). ‘Design Thinking’ can easily be reversed to say ‘thinking like a designer’; that is the way of more fluidly looking across an organization or set of problems to find ideas or solutions that may not become apparent with a more rigid point of view.

What I purposely tried to avoid was making an excuse for being in the room in the first place. If we as a profession (designers) want to be part of the conversation about how organizations work and innovate, the first step is to assume that we belong there and take a seat.

Looking forward to hearing what others have to say!