Design to update your company

Design to update your company

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There is nothing exempt from the peril of mutation; the earth, heavens, and whole world is thereunto subject.

[Walter Raleigh]

Design is one of the element that is really able to bring a relevant change inside companies: it let them be able to move freely towards a completely new mindset. The customer, considered as a person with proper needs and not only as someone that has money to spend, should be always considered as the sun around which the company revolves.

Bringing an enhanced value to the customer has to be the primary focus and, consequently, it will be possible to bring a lot of value to all the stakeholders, both internal and external.

How companies behave today?

A lot of companies have a way of doing that is transmitted from one generation to the next and that’s not able to keep up with the “new”. They base their workflows on task to be completed, and not on processes. Therefore, positions inside organizations are becoming more and more strict resulting in people being divided into functions (marketing, finance,…) focused only on their “little” task and not incentivate to give an added value to enhance the overall company. This doesn’t help the evolution of managers: too many I-shaped people (people super-specialized in their competence area) and no T-shaped ones are the components of those companies. The unique results are ineffective communication and a low sense of belonging.

Wicked problems are considered the new millennium plague because c-level managers think that every problem has to be solved entirely and perfectly. “If it’s impossible to find a precise solution that could be modeled, it’s not a problem that is suitable to address.” is the phrase I imagine the Jiminy Cricket to shout in CEO’s ear.

 

Individuality and entrepreneurship, elements very important in the current work industry but only if preperly managed, are entirely avoided thanks to a passive aggressive behaviour: if you take a chance to do something new and it goes good then “that’s fine”, but if you mistake then “thanks and goodbye”.

How things could be changed?

Those old ways of doing won’t let companies to remain healthy and market leaders in the long run, society is changing, technologies too and consumer needs are becoming more and more fluid. Understanding that things have to change is essential and, in my point of view, design could be a suitable mindset to solve the issue.

The company has to move their center towards customers needs, thanks to which understanding how to create something that could be desirable and viable. The “human centred design” approach is what will differentiate a normal company to a design based one.

The main goals of a company should be:

  • organization of the company around processes and not around tasks: so that there will be a seamless flow of value in order to create an overall picture of the entire process.
  • development of T-shaped people: in order to have interdisciplinary team that will be able to create value through skills and knowledge sharing.
  • creation of new KPI: through new methods to evaluate people, this latest will be encouraged to move forward and create something new, risking a little bit, without being afraid to be fired. KPI encouraging teamwork let the company to move towards global efficiency.
  • post – team building: once there’s a project, teams should be built only after having acquired the project specifications, in order to deliver the maximum value. Companies should avoid allocating projects to pre-built teams but it would be better to build them anew every time. To help the creation of teams, the company would also need a proper database for knowledge management.

The path towards the integration of all this changes won’t be easy, that’s for sure. For this reason it’s important that people inside companies, CEO first of all, will have the will to begin an investment that will bring a lot of value in the long run.

“Understanding people means foreseeing the future”

Marco Carniel

What do you think about the topics in this article?

Let me know by commenting in the bottom section, I would be happy to talk with you.

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