By Thomas Lockwood
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Additional resources for Building Design Strategy: Using Design to Achieve Key Business Objectives
We all have an obligation to practice responsible design, inclusive design, and design that has minimal impact on the environment. Hartmut Esslinger has called on designers to help move our world forward toward sustainability and toward creating a more adequate and balanced model. The creative economy is a greener economy, and we all need to help; designers and design managers have considerable influence in this area. Valerie Casey, a creative director at Frog Design, argues that green design is a business issue and a moral issue, and designers and design managers who have the freedom to adopt some design criteria and on this basis make what, in their view, are better choices.
As a process and a tool, design can greatly improve those odds. In fact, design methods and techniques such as observational and ethnographic re-search, visualization of ideas, challenging the status quo, and rapid prototype iteration can make design strategy and corporate strategy symbiotic. There is so much more to corporate strategy, and to design strategy, than meets the eye—literally. Design strategy is as much about process as it is about artifacts. The word “design,” of course, has many meanings.
These fast-moving consumer companies, being leaders (or former leaders) in their fields, clearly have employed many of these approaches over their years of corporate existence, making good and bad decisions along the way. They have access to the same body of decision-making intellectual capital that any company has. They take strategic decision-making very seriously, as any major company does. So why does it seem as if so many poor decisions are being made in today’s market— poor decisions that lead to failure?