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The future of Solving

As most of us have said and know, design thinking is a type of creative problem solving. Similarly, a square is a rectangle. But all rectangles are not squares. A key consideration about the future of either design thinking or creative problem solving must recognize the difference.

In the 20/20 hindsight from a future POV, we may ask this: why was DT suddenly so important in the world where problem solvers had opportunity worth their effort? Is the next normal world of opportunity needing more DT, or less?

The consideration of the future is of course multi-dimensional. Who has the greatest need for creative solving and why?

Have we been doing something (solving) that we called creative because we hadn’t so far already known How To, but the learning curve is now distillable to “best practice” and the typical effort no longer need be (so-called) “creative”??

In reality, these ALL happen concurrently. We just pay attention to them differently at different times.

Are we ready to accept that trial-&-error is not the “same thing as” creativity, but that exploration does NOT take a back seat to creativity? What’s wrong with celebrating researched problem solving?

Will the political (i.e., strategic) justification for taking the risk of “creativity” (i.e., waste) be the same or greater without Competition (or Extinction) being the most dominant driver? Will there be a different most prevalent driver?

And not most of all, but necessarily: since design thinking is actually a methodology (systemic), not a process (executive), should we anticipate that continuing IT evolution will naturally make it more asynchronous and distributed? If yes, the emphasis in the “solving” actually moves to orchestration — something already done most predominantly by architecture since… forever.

( © malcolm ryder / archestra research)



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Malcolm Ryder

Malcolm Ryder


Malcolm is a strategist, solution developer and knowledge management professional in both profit and non-profit companies across business, IT and the arts.