Books & other writing

DESIGN: A BUSINESS CASE - Thinking, Leading, and Managing by Design

This book, which I'm extremely proud to have written together with Brigitte Borja de Mozota - the most cited authority on design management that I know of, argues the business case of design excellence, in organisations – whether your mission is to develop new products, services or procedures, or to change existing ones into something better.


While design thinking has reigned for some years now, design management was left in the shadows. However, design thinking without design making – skilfully integrated and properly managed – easily becomes hollow and meaningless. Design excellence requires the knowledge, as well as end-to-end management of, the resources and the creative energy that goes into development and change processes.


Design thinking – made up of the acknowledgement of design skills, of methodological choices, the right mindset and a conducive culture – is dynamic and adaptable to the project itself and the people involved.


Design thinking is a framework developed to ensure C-suite endorsement, strategic coherence, stakeholder engagement and design excellence in all actions undertaken by the organisation. Design management is a rigorous and strategically anchored mechanism to capitalize on the investment in design as an intellectual capital. And design – as we’ve always known it – is the skills and methods and creative capabilities needed to embody ideas and direction. Design thinking inspires, design management enables, design embodies. Only when the three play together as a team, the result is design excellence.


Design: A Business Case challenges you to stimulate innovation in your own organization, to make design a dialogue between complementary skills, to see design as a bridge between mind and matter, image and identity.

DESIGN: A BUSINESS CASE - Thinking, Leading, and Managing by Design will be published in English by Business Expert Press in New York in August 2020 as an e-book and the following month, September 2020 as a printed book. Other language versions are under development, a.o. in French, Danish and Korean - to start with.

INNOLITERACY - From Design Thinking to Tangible Change


INNOLITERACY - from design thinking to tangible change encourages reflection and inspires you to embark on your  next development or change project. Taking its departure in the idea that all change for the better - whether constituded by something entirely new or the improvement of something already existing - is innovation, the author  takes us on a journey of all the considerations one ought to do before solving a problem or addressing a challenge. The overall message of the book is to allocate much more resources to the earliest phases of a project - to the fuzzy front end, where the problem is unveiled and understood, defined and challenged, and where the roadmap for how to replace the existing with something better is drawn. 


These ideas are depicted in a process model inspired both by well-known, linear stage-gate models and design methodological and often much more organic models - merged into a process, where each singular element can be opted in or out depending on the project. Its intention is not to replace, but rather add a layer of considerations, which may strengthen and enhance the models or processes you already use. By applying some of the thinking presented in the book, it is quite likely that your development and change project will be just as efficient as they are today, but with more focus on reflection and framing, scoping and re-framing, stakeholder engagement and prototyping - helping you  to achieve the best possible end result.


INNOLITERACY talks to everyone, who works with or has the overall responsibility for - even those, who are just curious about - change and development processes, how they are made more stakeholder focused and how one makes sure that the real problem is addressed. And, by spending time up front to identify the most relevant problem to solve, the  risk of the solution failing to resonate with its audience is minimized. The book is a serious of reflections, experiences, observations and anecdotes on one hand and a guide to a better development process on the other, also referring examples and case studies as well as litterature and research. Its mission is to inspire more meaningful and thoroughly framed problemsolving to benefit us all, to allow for more reflection both individually and as teams, and to make sure that we exploit all the knowledge and experience that we have direct access to, just by choosing a more inclusive and open innovation process. 


INNOLITERACY is neither a textbook nor a traditional management

book. It contains both specific knowledge on innovation methodology

and co-creative processes and opinions and the author's own reflections

on related issues. It aims at being both informative, thought-provoking

and entertaining. Hopefully, the reader will sit back a tiny bit wiser and

a whole lot better dressed to take on and engage his or her internal and

external stakeholderserin a collaborative and yet stringently managed

innovation process.

INNOLITERACY was published in Danish by DJØF Publishing in Copenhagen in December 2015, and by Business Expert Press in New York in February 2018.


Order the book in Danish at

Order the book in English at


© 2023 by Alison Knight. Proudly created with

Tel.; + 45 2031 2240

  • LinkedIn Social Icon