This session took place on April 16, 2pm UK Time.
Design. A Business Case – Thinking, Leading and Managing by Design (by Brigitte Borja de Mozota & Steinar Valade-Amland) argues the business case for design excellence in organization—whether your mission is to develop new products, services, or procedures or to change existing ones into something better. Although design thinking has reigned for some years now, design management has been left in the shadows.
However, design thinking without design making—skillfully integrated and properly managed—easily becomes hollow and meaningless. Design excellence requires knowledge, as well as end-to-end management, of the resources and the creative energy that go into development and change processes. Design thinking—made up of the acknowledgment of design skills, of methodological choices, the right mindset, and a conducive culture—is dynamic and adaptable to the project itself and the people involved. Design thinking is a framework developed to ensure C-suite endorsement, strategic coherence, stakeholder engagement, and design excellence in all actions undertaken by the organization.
Design management is a rigorous and strategically anchored mechanism to capitalize on the investment in design as intellectual capital. And design—as we’ve always known it—is the skills and methods and creative capabilities needed to embody ideas and direction. Design thinking inspires, design management enables, design embodies. Only when the three play together as a team, the result is design excellence.
Design: A Business Case challenges you to stimulate innovation in your own organization, to make design a dialogue between complementary skills, to see design as a bridge between mind and matter, image and identity. It does so by posing four questions assumed to make up some of the major barriers for uptake of design in organizations, as well as indicating some theses to be discussed;
Thesis # 1 addressing why so few are using design strategically despite design’s overwhelming case; Perhaps we need to revisit the discussion about what design is…
Thesis # 2 addressing why business and design seem not to go all that well together; Perhaps we don’t know enough about what excellence in management is…
Thesis # 3 addressing the fact that despite design thinking’s popularity, is it still disconnected from the design industry; Perhaps we need to look at the interfaces between the two . . .
Thesis # 4 addressing the myth that design cannot be measured, and that this might discourage the management of design; Perhaps we need to better connect the benefits of design to business logics…
All these four thesis are discussed in detail in the book, but they also need to be discussed directly with the design, design management and design research community. This session provides a space to explore the four theses with the book’s authors.