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Thinking Like a Designer

Roger Martin argues that to compete in a design-based economy, companies must become more like design shops.

It's a Project World

Forget about permanent assignments. Your work will flow from project to project, and you'll organize your life around those projects.

Rewards Go to the Problem Solvers

Status won't come from managing big budgets and large staffs. Like designers, managers will be rewarded for "solving tough mysteries with elegant solutions."

There Are No Perfect Solutions

The work style in conventional companies is to seek the perfect answer. That's inefficient and slow. Designers "try it, prototype it, improve it" — and move it.

Don't Wait for the Proof

Traditional companies reward those who "prove that something actually operates or that something must be." Design shops reward those with the foresight and courage to act on what "might be."

A version of this article appeared in the April 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.