Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 11

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 11
Derived from: Roger Martin’s The Design of Business

RAP9 : Leading Design
: If leading for reliability is like training a dog, then leading designers may be closer to training a cat. How they think, act and respond is completely different. You’ll need to adjust your leadership style accordingly. Here’s eight suggestions to consider…

1 Chief Designer

Are you a design friendly CEO or the actual designer? For instance, Steve Jobs is the design champion for Apple whilst Jonathon Ives is the star designer.

2 More Quickly
The key value creation challenge is to put more ideas into the top of the funnel and move them to the bottom more quickly. How can you do this? Proctor and Gamble employed crowdsourcing to accelerate their innovations.

3 Be the Example
Immerse yourself in the designer’s way of thinking. You may need to think as both designer and business leader for a while until the two merge into one. Lead by being directly involved in a major design project.

4 Stand Up
In the good old days, sales, marketing or production may have ruled over design. No longer. To reinforce Design Thinking as a business imperative will require you to stand up and defend it in the face of demands from other business domains. Be prepared.

5 Design Review
Review your personnel. Who is design friendly and who is not? Both are required. Balancing reliability and innovation is the goal. Change the way you reward and review performance to adjust this balance.

6 Resist Reliability
‘Reliability’ leaders may use systems and statistics to make their judgements. This won’t work for managing design. You’ll need to invest time and energy into managing individuals and understand the ebbs and flows of a design project.

7 Support Team
Where Design Thinking may be missing, bring it in from the outside. For instance, Target commissioned star designers to create exclusive, well-designed, reasonably priced products. Consider having designers on your board and at the management level.

8 Commitment
Find ways to demonstrate your commitment to design rather than just talking about it. For instance, Steelcase bought IDEO to show they were serious. Merely redesigning logos is not going to be enough. Resourcing design effectively is crucial.

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