Design Thinking - Selective Application is OK

My friend Justin has complained about the time he frittered away reading various articles on the Internet after reading one of my blog posts.  He jumped from article to article, enjoying the reading, but re-discovering that it is easy to 'lose' considerable time in the endeavour.  (His complaint was tongue in cheek, I think.)

I recently had a similar experience - in reading criticism of the design thinking movement.  I was led from reading Helen Walters to reading Fred Collopy.  Fred writes about the risk of turning design thinking into an arcane art, as happened to systems thinking, a former supposed management panacea.

Fred writes:
Each of systems thinking’s various manifestations demands some degree of subscription to an orthodoxy (a particular view of just what systems thinking is). And each requires that the user master a large number of related ideas and techniques, most of which are not particularly useful on their own.
He then notes that this does not mesh with how we prefer to learn - a little at a time, trying things out and looking for surface validity (I added that last bit).  The 'tablets handed down by the high priest' approach appeals to some people - as I saw more than a decade ago among proponents of neuro-linguistic programming (not all of them, but more than I was comfortable with).  There is no room for critical thinking in the blind acceptance model.  It may get you a critical mass of adherents in the short term, but the behaviour change is unlikely to be sustained.

Fred goes on to encourage us to treat design thinking as "an arsenal of methods and techniques", and to provide "users of design thinking with 'trial-size' access to a growing body of knowledge".

The message here is that if you want to try out design thinking, just do it.  Who could deny that there is huge value in observing people interacting with your products, in order to produce better products?  The introduction to the the Stanford Design School's Bootcamp Bootleg states that it is OK to just do an exercise.  So go on, pick a page from the Bootleg, and do the exercise.