Wednesday, 2 January 2013

IBM + HBS: Good design = Good business?

Recently, Fast Company (here) examined IBM's investment in design & direct bottom line ROI. HBS proposed (here) America's need for a Manufacturing Renaissance. What do both miss? That US design demands measurability but not unless Design Thinking Starts at the Top (here)

Throughout the world, particularly in Italy, France and Germany, design thinking is fully integrated in the final end product: the firm itself and it's leadership team. Imagery, functionality, interactivity, user experience + R&D culminate into a firms full offering to its clients. Some summarize this ias "brand development" however branding can sometimes miss engineering or manufacturing queues and likely so, customer interest isn't part of long term R&D models however slowly in the US things are changing as best articulated by Ron Shaich, founder and CEO of the Panera Bread chain, in a recent post “…the chief executive’s foremost responsibility is to identify, develop, and deploy innovations that lead to real competitive advantage. All of the other challenges that weigh on every CEO--meeting the quarter’s financial targets; enhancing the brand; creating a culture where everyone gives their best--are ultimately irrelevant if you haven’t figured out how to invent your company’s future.” - a clear definition of design disruption.