Friday, 20 July 2012

Building your firm into a design powerhouse

What has been a consistent message is that design and utilizing design as a competitive advantave for your firm is not to be ignored within todays environment. The question is of course how can this be acomplished. And without pain, infighting and jockying at the board level. More and more board level positions are going to design professionals cross trained in at least one other dicipline: engineering, strategy, operations, or manufacturing.

Some key factors include:
1. Have A vision and strategy that is well-articulated and understood by its organization - why design is important, how the firm will utilize it and the process for making that happen
2. Developing leadership that is capable and committed to driving its vision - promoting design executives within the organization providing they are focused and capabale of executing on ROI oriented design efforts
3. Creating an organization that is structured and resourced for success - developing and executing on specific phase gates, external engagement, etc
4. Cultivating a talent pool that is diverse in design disciplines and deployed at key points of functional integration -  hiring, training and retraining people with at least a dual design & operations background with at least 2 areas of expertiese, Design and engineering, operations, finance, etc. 
5. Fostering a culture that embraces the myriad dimensions of design - even if it is divisional bakeoffs for who has the best cookies, this is a simplistic yet important factor in continually building and creative and competitive environment

Our friends at Fast Company come through once again by detailing some of the basic steps of how to make this a reality inside your organization. The full article can be seen here: 6 Keys For Turning Your Company Into A Design Powerhouse although strangely firms such as Apple, Braun, Samsung, Unilieve, Frog, etc., are all missing as they are non-US centric and as we have seen by many US magazines, if it isn't US oriented it is just not important which should be one of THE major tennants in any design centric strategy - "Don't forget the US is NOT the center of the universe!"

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Design Disruption isn't just for designers - the business model canvas (BMC)

Design disruption isn't just for objects and information but also the representation of that information. This has been called info-graphics, data visualization, information architecture. What is important is design disruption or more accurately the visualization of design disruptions are what is at stake. Quantifiable accurate? Measurable visually? Absolutely. And there are tools and techniques to see these disruptions in practice.

How is this achieved? With tools such as BCM and the resulting end product - a clean representation of how  utilizing design disruption methods effect ROI for firms employing these models as described here in this example of BCM as applied to Dow Corning.

More on this in the future where we will see visually how ROI for firms employing disruptive design out perform organizations who do not.