Design Is So Much More Than A Profit Boosting Practice


Last month, strategy consultant McKinsey&Co (find the link to the report below) published a significant study on the value of design. There’s no doubt very few, if any, other consultancy firms could perform a large-scale research like this. They are certainly not the first to talk about this topic, but their messages tend to reach a large group of business decision-makers. And that’s extremely valuable.

The study also sparked a substantive debate, which is valuable in itself. Several experts have enriched the dialogue with their critiques and opinions. With Studio Dott, we would like to share our perspective, based on our many years of design and entrepreneurial experience.

So, These Are Our 6 Key Takeaways...

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01  Creating And Measuring Value

Value is not only about shareholder value. And although- obviously- revenues, profits and share prices are key performance metrics for executives, using these as the only metrics is doing injustice, both to the role of a CEO and to the power of design.
Design creates significant value and impact.

"To us, impact isn’t just a word that you would interchange with innovative, beautiful or sells well. Impact is what jolts you awake. Impact is what moves you. It’s that moment when you know, that’s exactly it, that’s right. That yes!-moment is what we’re always looking for." - Pieter Lesage | CEO Studio Dott

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02  More Than A Feeling

Measure and drive performance with rigor.
We couldn't agree more, design needs to be more performance-driven in its approach. Both the business community and the academics want to know: how do you measure (good) design? It's pretty easy if you reduce performance to customer satisfaction and sales conversion.

But what about measures beyond reported satisfaction? How do companies deliver products and services that excel for their customers and markets? How do they stay relevant and prepared for the future? Design as practice and design thinking help you transform the organization to strategically fit changing customer preferences. And that’s what we should monitor.

"For us design is much more than creating things that look pretty. We design for impact! We design awesomeness!"

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03  Everybody A Designer?

Everybody in your organization should be able and willing to create improvements and innovations to benefit their customers, users and stakeholders. However, not everybody can design, it is a profession and a craft. It's the similar to accounting: everybody should understand the basics, but you only want the properly trained professionals to create the financial reports.

At Studio Dott, we contribute to the success of our customers in 2 ways: we both provide skillfully designed solutions, and we help companies and organization develop widely-spread design thinking capabilities.

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04  Continuous Iteration

Absolutely! An organization should be able to constantly experiment and learn. But implementing a design-driven and future-oriented approach requires a new organizational setup. It requires a new way of management: i.e. on the way budgets are allocated, on leadership, the way companies deal with short-term priorities and long-term vision, how projects are governed, etc. At Studio Dott, we find it important to help companies set up an efficient and targeted way of transforming customer and stakeholder feedback in business improvements.

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05  More Than A Product

Integrated, interconnected, hybrid product service systems could drive unrivalled customer experience, creating sustainable sales, profit growth and value for all stakeholders. Companies are fully aware, yet struggle coming up with the appropriate ‘internet of things’ strategy. Studio Dott is investing in the development of tools, practices and people to help you deliver relevant, valuable and robust product service systems to the market.

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06  Slow and steady wins the race

Obviously, installing this new organizational setup does not happen overnight. It takes time and the early enthusiasm and energy levels might drop. Colleagues and stakeholders will expect some immediate results. In this respect, it is crucial to strategically select and implement quick wins. Simple improvements to everyone’s advantage will leverage the new mindset. This way you can build on the solid foundation of incremental successes.

In conclusion

Design is so much more than a profit boosting practice.
Design has the enormous potential to deeply transform businesses to be more sustainable, more human and to become a strong long-term performer. And that should the top focus of your C-level decision-makers.