Browsing a bookstore on a recent visit to Taiwan, I picked up this book, 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, and after flipping through a couple pages, immediately felt inspired to take it home. It's making me reflect on my first year experience as a grad school - what are the "101 Things I Learned in DMBA School?"
What I consider the most relevant and insightful lesson that Fredrick really nailed is about being process-oriented, not product or solution-driven. He puts it in the context of design, but of course, in the interest of my own motives of melding design and strategy, I think this lesson can be applied to tackling any sort of problem, whether it be in business, design strategy, user research, or architecture. So I've taken the liberty to "adjust" his thoughts a little to encompass business as well:
- seeking to understand any design problem before chasing after solutions
- not force-fitting solutions to old problems onto new problems;
- removing yourself from prideful investment in your projects and being slow to fall in love with your ideas
- making design business investigations and decisions holistically (that address several aspects of a design business problem at once) rather than sequentially (that finalize one aspect of a solution before investigating the next);
- making design business decisions conditionally - that is, with the awareness that they may or may not work out as you continue toward a final solution;
- knowing when to change and when to stick with previous decisions;
- accepting as normal the anxiety that comes from not knowing what to do;
- working fluidly between concept-scale fulfillment of user needs and detail-scale the company's ability to execute to see how each informs the other;
- always asking "What if...?" regardless of how satisfied you are with your solution."
Very wise words to follow in design and business practice!
And I think I'll start making my own list of 101 things I'm learning in dmba school. I think I'll start with "Spicy pho can inspire bouts of creativity and group bonding" ;-).