Four verbs!

After so many setbacks in the markets it seems that now we’re coming out of an era of grey leadership and we began to realize that shortcuts in business for quick gains are meaningless and also that the new era is an era of possibilities.

Now it is necessary that the executives acknowledge this new era and make an effort to transform the most common products and services into something more rewarding and thus more memorable.

This is an evolutionary approach that leads us to think about design and structuring behaviors, leaving behind our old “ability” to predict the future based on the present day.

Organizations geared towards design thinking put design thinking in the heart of the enterprise to guide innovation and continuous improvement of products or services and recognize that this guidance leads to differentiation, maintenance of customer base and more profits.

“If we are waiting for lengthy business plans with detailed financial analysis and randomized double blind studies to tell us if a new business model is viable we will be waiting a very long time. That is not how business model innovation works. It takes passionate exploration, which is more iterative than traditional scientific methodology. It takes design thinking and process combined with powerful storytelling to create novel business models. We need to try more stuff and design thinking and process can help.”- Saul Kaplan

It is indeed the passion for exploration, but also with a mindset of constant experimentation, that organizations must deposit their nuclear potential to leverage a meaningful and sustainable development. How much faster are the iterations the fastest will be desired developments.

But there is not a way with arrival! It is a path which evolves, where things are never complete and where products and services are value propositions for a given time, but they are not eternal.

First Direct, a UK bank, has designed all its service touchpoints so carefully that it has become the most referred financial brand in the UK, with over 82 percent of customers happy to recommend it to friends…

So this is a call to action for executives to recognize this new era and make the effort to transform even a mundane product or service into something more rewarding and more memorable. Try to assess each element of your service or product and better it—to see design not just as a marketing thing but as a genuine source of competitive advantage, customer and employee satisfaction and, lastly, a route to higher profits.”

This may be an example that reinforces the need to think about the design thinking in an evolutionary approach. It is evolutionary not only because it’s opposed to classical approach of extrapolation but also because the learning process embedded there transforms us in the passage of each cycle and leads us to different results.

Our ability to make connections between things seemingly unconnected boosts a new learning and creativity, giving birth to new cycles of improvement or even disruptive innovation.

Organizations and us, as an integral part of them that we are, can and should underpin its growth (evolution) in four verbs:

Ask – Ask questions to remove restrictions or constraints that prevent the growth or adaptation.

Interact – In networks, with people from different backgrounds who provide access to new ways of thinking

Observe – To observe is an extraordinary source of stimuli from the world around us.

Experiment – Try to create (here and elsewhere) new and better things (more meaning and purpose) than those that already exist.

“We need more mad designers focused on customer experience and business model innovation. If you don’t have design talent in your organization doing more than product and website design you are making a mistake. Whether you are interested in business model innovation or not you should be leveraging design thinking and process to improve your customer experience. It is a requirement for business model innovation. In fact, maybe we need to bang together the heads of mad scientists and mad designers. – Saul Kaplan

What about an evolutionary business model?


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3 Responses to The evolution, design thinking and business models

  1. I agree, but my recurring challenge is to get execs to act more like mad scientists. Especially engineers with uber-techical backgrounds. The root cause is that the typical business model is more about making money, which is fine however it is thought that making money is disaligned with innovation.
    How can these two be aligned in the minds of those who steer?

    • Jose Baldaia says:

      Hello jason!
      Thank you for your comments!
      I think that some mental dance using divergent and convergent thinking and looking for balance between intuition and analytical thinking may help to the alignment

    • Hello Jason,

      First of all I would like to congrat Jose for his great article!.. Clear and focused.

      Second, I would like to try to answer to your comment, in order to be of any help if possible.

      Perhaps an interesting tip could be the fact that Design Thinking provides much faster solutions than any other Innovation Methodology, and it does it working “with” the client, what guarantees meeting our customer “needs”, so that the money will come as a obvious consequence.

      One of the big problems of classical innovation is, precisely, what I call “the innovator mood”, that is, isolating the innovator or the group of innovators, letting them to have the responsibility to think and understand “what are the customer needs” and how to meet them, and being helped, in the best of the cases, by the input of some “customer panels”.

      Of course, this would be like trying to wonder who will be the next football champion this next year!!..Who in the hell knows it!!, isn’t it?… But we do it!! …

      Design Thinking address this issue in a much more realistic way: It simply accepts that we can not guess what are our customer needs, in the same way that can not guess the future. But, what we can do, is to listen to our customer and to design with him/her, receiving a continuous feedback, in order to create the product or the service that meet his/her requirements in the best possible way. If we act in this way as an organization, we will be accomplishing the two main commands of a good sale: 1. Listen to your client 2.Meet his/her needs. If you do that, simply, money will come.

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