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Design Thinking in the Corporation September 25, 2009

Posted by Kavita Vora in Design Thinking.
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With the current focus on quarterly earnings and short term results, I wonder how more companies can incentivize this type of design thinking into their strategic planning. Especially right now when discretionary spending is being cut, how can companies better justify allocating resources toward a “systems” solution for capturing market opportunities. My hunch is that even if scorecards and metrics will still be needed to justify spending at publicly held companies (e.g. # milestones met each quarter in key initiatives), they should not be artificially quantified in the short term.

Another suggestion to help companies manage these projects with the transition of many employees rotating every 1-2 years, is to have their design projects follow them from the idea generation phase in one role, to the implementation phase in a subsequent role. This will allow for more long term continuity with the project, but still keep the employee challenged and progressing in his or her career.

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1. Sara Beckman - November 28, 2009

Ironically, now is exactly the time when you would most like to deeply understanding customer and user needs and develop solutions that best meet those needs. Not only does this offer the opportunity to create things that customers/users really want, but it also allows for shifting to accommodate the new “thrifty” consumer.

Interestingly, there is a move to place more metrics/scorecards on the design function — see, for example, what Whirlpool is doing. This will help the design function become more accepted and integrated in the organization.


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