The value of the intangible over the tangible. It is interesting to think of how there is a shift from the value of the goods to the value of the interactions mediated through goods and channels. It encourages a more human lens for which businesses can evaluate what exactly they are providing to their customers and how.
Following this consideration, if value is associated with use and context, the focus necessarily shifts from the units of output to the interactions. A service, therefore, represents “the process of doing something beneficial for and in conjunction with some entity, rather than units of outputs – immaterial goods- as implied by the plural ‘services’” (Vargo & Lush 2008, p.
Yesterday I started reading Rotman on Design, including the chapter “Strategy as Design.” In it, the author applies the design metaphor to the process of strategic planning and explains why strategy needs to act like design.
Yes. That is definitely interesting, but not what I thought was the most interesting. There are two processes that are at play here. Some think of strategic planning as a scientific process, thus it is a process in search of a “discovered truth” that is then taken as some sort of widely accepted objective fact (at least within the organization). Design process moves towards “invented choice,” the supposed best option for that specific context. Design moves towards finer detail while science and strategy at times, moves towards increasing generalization.
And here comes the question of rightness. How do you know you came up with the right solution or strategy? Both processes promise to end on some form of correctness or that they solved the problem. They came up with the right answer, but did they?
Can you ever really say you came up with the RIGHT solution? No. Design is more comfortable with that (arguably) and strategy is not. There is the “right” solution, but maybe it should just be this is the “best, maybe” strategy.
Strategy is a creative process. You are looking at possibilities and potential futures and trying to figure out how you can get there within a certain set of constraints. Pretty much what designers do. Both require creativity, imagination and critical thinking.
Just like a design is never really done and can always be improved, so can any strategy. There is no real right solution. There are solutions that are better than others, that could work. But there are no guarantees. Even in science, there isn’t necessarily infallible truth. There is a truth for that moment that can always be changed tomorrow.
Are you selling the design or the thought behind it?
This is the question I ask myself everyday. As the Marketing Manager of a digital design shop, the answer is ultimately what could potentially set us apart and what is going to actually tell the story of who we are.
What are clients buying when they buy design? They are not exactly buying the thing. Yes, that is what is the project brief and that is what their immediate need is. That is the outcome they need to achieve, but that is not the only thing that they want. They want your thoughts. That sounds sort of evil alien-mind-snatcher, but it is true.
Design and designers are in the position of teachers. It is the responsibility of designers now to share their knowledge and approach with the business world. Everyone might not be able to do it, but everyone should be able to learn why the process and the rationale behind each design decision is made. It is the basis for design thinking, after all. How are these people making these decisions that ultimately affect the ‘ergonomics’ of a business.