Transformation is in the air. Business leaders across industries are recognizing that “old school” management isn’t up to the task of nonstop innovation. As a result, companies that were once run from the top down are steadily shifting to a more networked style of management in which employees and customers play a greater role in driving innovation. Networked cultures tend to be more creative, more agile, and better able to anticipate the needs of customers.
How do you create a culture of innovation? By recognizing one simple fact: If you want to innovate, you’ve
got to design. Design and design thinking are the tools that create new products, new services, new business
models, new markets, and new industries. The best way to leverage innovation—as outlined in my latest book—is to build a “designful company”.
To find out where you are on the culture curve, take this simple test: Share a total of 10 points across each of the
10 pairs below. For example, if your company is more siloed than collaborative, you might score it 6 and 4.
When you’ve finished, add up the two columns to measure your progress. If your totals come out to 60 and 40, for example, you could say that you’re 40% along the path to an innovative culture.
Editor’s Note: Although branding expert Marty Neumeier claims that he compresses his thoughts to be quick-read “airplane books,” his insights are so thought-provoking and inspirational that they are best read in short segments so you can chew on what he has to say. This is a chapter from his latest book.
Excerpted from “The Designful Company”
by Marty Neumeier
The discipline of design has been waiting patiently in the wings for nearly a century, relegated to supporting roles and stand-in parts. Until now, companies have used design as a beauty station for identities and communications, or as the last stop before a product launch. Never has it been used for its potential to create rule-bending innovation across the board. Meanwhile, the public is developing a healthy appetite for all things design.
One survey by Kelton Research found that when 7 in 10 Americans recalled the last time they saw a product they just had to have, it was because of design. They found that with younger people 18-29, the influence of design was even more pronounced. More than one out of four young adults were disappointed in the level of design in America, saying, for example, that cars were better designed 25 years ago.
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