In principle, it is a great idea for designers to understand business principles, but I’m not certain that we should discourage the learning of one of the core disciplines of design and one of the toolsets needed in this world that we live in. Strategic thinking requires understanding the ebb and flow of business and how the consumer thinks and reacts. Design is as much a part of business as anything else is–the two are inherently inseparable–it’s just that good design is not always a part of the strategic thinking of the business world.
All of those things are good — mandatory even. But for us to truly understand the best way to help a business we have to start focusing on what makes the business successful. We must first understand business in general. Then we will better understand where craft is important (and where it is excessive).
Instead, designers are often seen as someone that needs to have the important business goals explained to them in the most basic of ways. I think our suggestions about design would carry a lot more weight if we were able to have insightful conversations, and offer valuable suggestions about core business principles.
I can’t argue with that thinking, but that’s why design has many moving parts. So that some can direct others with the larger business strategy in mind.