Design-led innovation: reshaping visions and internal strategies

For good products and services to take shape, companies need to be able to point out the correct ways to define the right projects, results and targets while working on their business models establishing harmony in the final outcome.

Designers are increasingly working on creating value not just in terms of profit but also in terms of processes that involve sustainability, circular economy, living services, policy making, social integration and ownership.

The discipline is hugely rooted in examining the business world’s assumptions about human behavior and showing how such insight can lead businesses in various new directions. Design research by combining a little bit of ethnography, with methodologies adopted from anthropologists while being hugely rooted in understanding the psychology of consumers, can work on catering to the needs of the market. By correctly defining the customer base, the design team can help reshape the processes leading to the designed products and services.

Support within the organization is crucial for the field’s methodologies to take shape effectively. The understanding of the role of designers and design managers can help leverage the team’s performance.

Designers apart from being technical specialists with functional expertise, a lot of the times as part of cross functional teams, can bring shifting new perspectives to the table. Designers on the other hand, tend to reshape the balance by focusing on the end users, seeing things from the customer’s perspective while designing touchpoints.

Design leaders apart from mediating between board and management can help formulate the goals and future visions guiding the team towards the final outcome. Focusing on creating a collaborative and supportive environment while helping in allocating the right funds for the various projects, they can help propel the projects forward.

A lot of the times, the design leaders are simultaneously design managers. The role of such managers is to help craft the strategy: managing all stakeholders: choosing the right design projects along with pitching and allocating resources. Creating the right systems, teams, structures and experiences while working on budgeting and crafting the timelines and scheduling is also their responsibility.

With the increasing challenges of artificial intelligence, robotics and advancement in engineering, designers can help reformulate long-term goals serving a more humane perspective. Design can shift the emphasis from products and services to customers. While innovation used to be restricted to white coats in labs or undergrounds isolated silos, with design-led innovation, products and services can cater better to the needs of the various end-users instead of delivering solutions with a skewed view of what the market really needs. While most respondents tend to link design to aesthetics, functionality and usability, its capacity lies in being able to solve for problems. Empathy being at the core of design, with all the challenges current markets represent, human connection can help leverage companies while building cohesion, re-formulating long-term missions, visions and internal strategies.

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