Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Out-Imagining The Competition

Businesses have to out imagine the competition, to think--to become--more like designers.

As a designer recently unchained from the ego-driven, status minded, corporate machine, I'm more than familiar with questions like "'Why are you doing that?' 'What is the ROI?' These are the questions that kill," says Andrea Ragnetti, Philips's chief marketing officer. "I made a clear point in the boardroom that whenever it comes to design, we have to keep business management out of the process."

If an organization wants to reap the benefits of design, it must do more than just hire "hot" designers or declare itself to be "design oriented." The challenge is to manage the chronic push and pull between a value system premised on what's valid and one based on what's reliable.

As the management theorist James March has argued, by focusing on the intuitive and experiential, organizations explore new sources of competitive advantage. By looking to the provable and replicable, organizations better exploit the innovations they've brought to market.

To prosper over the long run, a company needs to succeed at both. It must mesh the classical workings of a traditional organization with the prototypical features of a design shop, especially in three key areas: reckoning the future, organizing work, and establishing status and rewards.

But, enough of this rational banter - has everyone turned in their timesheets today?

That's Right,


Read both Jennifer Reingold's Design Intervention and Roger Martin's, dean of the Rotman B-school Tough Love to get the full-on scoop.

Thanks to the good folks over at Fast Company