Evolution of the Corporate Strategic Innovation Methodology
In the past decades, many strategic methodologies have emerged as means for corporate strategic innovation, product value-creation and creative problem-solving.
A few that are widely recognized and adopted by the general public includes:
- Design Thinking, taught during the 80’s at Stanford University and made popular to the corporate world by David Kelley, the founder of IDEO throughout the 90’s. It is a practical product innovation process in which satisfying the needs of the product users are emphasized.
- User Experience Design (or UX), emerged in the 90’s as a result of the proliferation of personal computers and is brought to a wider audience by Professor Donald Norman as a process of improving the interaction and experience between the user and the product.
- Blue Ocean Strategy, proposed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne was a huge buzz and influential during the early 2000’s. It promotes the idea of creating new product demands by new value creation and making the existing competition irrelevant.
The first two approaches incorporate the user-centered design ideology which emphasizes learning and satisfying the needs of the product users and stakeholders. The latter approach emphasizes creating new market demands by developing innovative products and services. However, without the consideration of the commercial values, even a great offering can fail to deliver a return on innovation.
Then came Business Design, a relatively new approach to strategic value creation that has gained traction beyond 2010. The specific origin of Business Design is uncertain, but what is certain is that Business Design goes beyond its predecessor by incorporating profitable business models into the formula.
Business Design is Employed to Solve Key Business Challenges
The word ‘design’ implies problem-solving. For instance, interior design is the act of improving a living environment that could solve the habitational problems of the habitant. With this notion in mind, we could therefore comprehend that ‘Business Design’ is in fact the process of transforming a business into a more competitive state by solving its underlying business problems.
We have come to realize, with the experiences gained from attempts and failures, that it’s not merely about product innovation that makes a company successful in the marketplace. We also need to consider the business and revenue model, the operations, the marketing strategy, as well as the use of the latest available IT solutions. It’s all about blending business strategies with design and IT, all with the aim of fulfilling the needs of the stakeholders that makes a product succeed and sustainable in the marketplace.
For instance, wearable technology such as smart glasses has yet to prove its desirability. The launch of Google Glass by the tech giant in 2013 has received a great deal of backlash due to their overly optimistic assumption on the market acceptance of the product’s form-factor and pricing (US$1500). Furthermore, the feasibility of the technological execution also failed, as in the case of the battery lifespan was just not satisfactory for the product to be usable in daily life. However, we will see whether the new Enterprise Edition 2 will be able to change the perception of the market overtime.
This process starts off with (A) “What we don’t know / What the product could be”, followed by identifying the (B) “Actionable problem statement”, and ends with © “What we do know / What the product should be”.
This 4-phase process can be summarized as:
- Discover the market needs and competition by researching to obtain insights
- Define your project scope by analyzing insights into specific problems the project should tackle
- Develop multiple ideas with brainstorming to find the best possible solution
- Deliver your ideas into reality by making them into testable prototypes and validate your assumption
Considering Becoming a Business Designer?
If you are looking for a career development in the digital transformation industry, becoming a Business Designer would be the best place to start. Being knowledgeable in Design Thinking and UX development is definitely a must but being affluent in the process of Business Design would certainly give you extra advantages. Currently, you can find a few related courses on Design Thinking/ Business Design offered by respectable institutes such as:
- The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto — MBA with a major in Business Design
- The Stanford Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (a.k.a. Stanford d.school) — Design Thinking Bootcamp
- IDEO U — Designing a Business
At GreenTomato Academy, we also offer the Certificate in Business Design course that provides you the opportunity to be exposed to the Design Thinking and UX design methodology, as well as enabling you to learn the practical process in Business Design.
If you are Interested to know more about the Business Design course, visit our website for more course detail.