Good article! Some additional or contrary thoughts by myth:
1. Agree and I posit that design thinking is applicable more generally to any problem where a solution is not yet known. So many times I have seen massive investment in design efforts for a product with no thought given to how the sales, support, supply chain, etc. are going to be built out. All those can and should be designed too!
2. See above. Just like Lean has been shown to be more relevant to industries like Healthcare, design is probably more relevant to spaces outside high-tech.
3. Is not “a human whose life you wish to better” the definition of a customer? If it is not, I suggest you rethink your definitions or your solutions or both.
4. The design process is designed to be spirals of greater detail, so the first time around the process might take just a day or even a few hours to identify areas where further learning and refinement are needed and then get started on those topics. I do prefer to run the whole process when possible, as even simple prototypes can elicit important findings and moving ahead without validation can lead teams down dead ends.
5. The intrinsic qualities of a person are more important than design designations or degrees. The person leading the design effort needs to be passionate about the problem and finding the best solution and take accountability for the process and results. Like the “Chief Engineer” role at Toyota, the person needs to be comfortable being the “owner” of the design and the rest of the organization needs to feel the same way. Having that person lead the effort will produce a better result than bringing in a high-priced consultant. However, if that person needs additional skills or would be more effective with some coaching, consultants can add a lot of impact in the coach or mentor role.