Design: the company’s performance lever

The design, with its approach and tools, is an opportunity for the company to significantly and sustainably increase its performance. It remains to be known why and how.

Design from a business perspective

The general definition of design is as follows: a combination of a plan, a strategy, a sketch, and an accomplishment.

From a business perspective, design is a global approach that combines strategic vision, ability to create relevant solutions, and consideration of economic and societal issues.

Its goal is to increase the attractiveness of the organization by improving the lives of all stakeholders (employees, customers, users, partners, etc.).

Therefore design experience is understood on two levels:

  • Strategic leadership: An understanding of the market and its development as well as thinking about current and future needs, must be met in a comprehensive approach to the operation of the company (existing or planned) and its ecosystem
  • Operational management: Mastery of different design tools and disciplines and their consistent integration into all major business and operations (marketing, research and development, production, sales, etc.)

Some may wonder, and reading this: “So, how is design, for example, different from marketing?”.

There are two aspects that distinguish design and marketing:

  • Situation: The determination is betting on peaceful growth and not “always more” as the norm, but “always better”. In other words, it is a matter of making the lives of the target masses more enjoyable while being virtuous from a societal point of view and efficient from an economic point of view.
  • Common construction: Design cannot be conceived outside of a collaborative approach. It is a cross-sectional approach – not limited to brainstorming – and aims to continually improve operating methods and results.

However, we should not oppose the design for marketing. These disciplines are complementary: Marketing is an excellent means of stating ambitions, setting goals, and facilitating the positioning of the solution thanks, in particular, to the proven techniques of analysis and segmentation.

This applies to all disciplines.

And design thinking?

If the virtues of Design Thinking—the development of proposals that are desirable (for the client), feasible (for the company) and feasible (from a technology point of view)—are no longer demonstrated—they are often used at the solution level rather than from the point of view of global strategy: it therefore seems preferable to us to use the term design alone.

In general, the fact that a qualification is attached to the term design tends to specialize in that discipline and limit it to a specific, and therefore restricted, field. There is strategic design, product design, or digital design just as there is strategic marketing, product marketing, or digital marketing: we are in business expertise (operational management) and not in the overall approach (strategic management).

Design and rapidly changing markets

Design has a major advantage: its systematic willingness to understand, suggest, and embody, often in the form of a digital or physical pretender.

In other words, the design contains within it the ability to understand the entire value chain of the solution – from the initial strategic analysis to the definition of its structure and associated uses – that is, finally, the ability to take into account the main components of the solution. The economic model of this solution, which means, among other things, significantly saves time.

The design advantage is particularly expressed in markets undergoing significant change, where new environmental, ethical or regulatory constraints are forcing players to completely rethink their value propositions – and often their entire economic model.

There, it is necessary to build new experiences with a differentiated vision of uses – the preferred exercise of design – while keeping in mind the company’s ability to respond coherently to the constraints and needs of all stakeholders involved.

How design increases performance

This ease of design to see a specific problem differently and deliver the right experiences in an optimal configuration of realism, attractiveness and durability is an enormous performance lever, for at least three reasons:

  • grow to comprehensive approach (and sharing) a particular issue by taking into account all the needs and constraints of relevant stakeholders
  • Develops the ability to design high-quality experiences: By putting attractiveness, value to use, durability, repairability and recyclability to a high standard
  • Encourages a “natural” increase in operating franchise: Delivering market-friendly experiences requires high-performance, properly interconnected processes, information systems, business and data

Finally

Incorporating a design approach and tools within the company is not an option.

Today, few – if any – performance levers are as simple and effective as the design, provided that:

  • To put the design in place: A combination of strategic vision and operational knowledge
  • Not Considering Design a Miracle Recipe: In particular, because an idea is worth nothing without operational control to make it a reality in the best conditions
  • To ensure that the design approach and tools are harmoniously integrated with the various business and operations of the company: With the design being essentially collaborative, it turns out to be one of the most effective deconstruction tools
This article was produced with the contribution of Isabel Macquart, Corporate Associate Director of Strategy, Organization, and Transformation Experience makers.

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