I believe business consultancy will have a hard time embracing Design Thinking.
Luckily it is happening all around though. Many management consulting firms and banks are hiring external advice and even buying entire studios to get their people to work in a different way than before.
The most heard argument to do so is speeding up the innovation process; therefore it is often combined with other hip methodologies like Lean Start-up and Agile.
Feeling the urgency of speeding up innovation C-level management is all too keen on jumping on the bandwagon and love Design Thinking. The hardcore consultant employee is more reluctant. I see two reasons why:
Consultants are typically hired when organizations are hesitant in making a decision. They should deliver truths. Whether it is a false security or not is not really the point. The board needs to make a decision and want to be told how it is. Designers are good at telling you what might be, and trying out.
People working at consultancies are typically rather ‘blue people’. Good at analysis and flourishing when they know why they are doing what they are doing, with the end result in mind. Designers are comfortable with knowing that they don’t know.
Dirk Snelders presented Design Thinking at an event where CapGemini paraded their latest acquisition: Fahrenheit-212. The best part of the presentation imho was a Nietzsche quote (loosely translated by Dirk):
Since I grew tired of searching,
I learned how to find.
Since a wind held me back,
I sail with all the winds.
To me this poem was the best part of a brilliant presentation for two reasons:
I think nobody at Cap Gemini had ever seen a presentation where the benefits of a new method were advocated through a poem.
This poem illustrates one of the most powerful parts of Design Thinking: Design Thinking is especially useful to find new opportunities. It will not help as much when problem and solution are set.
Since in my experience consultancies are used to work in a setting where the problem and solution are clear in the mind of the principals, consultants will most likely frown upon the ways and tools of Designers.