Thursday, January 30, 2020

Attitude, Aptitude, Altitude of Design

To build a design-driven digital organization, you need to understand the company’s long-term goals, business identity or brand, and the industry realities such as competition or marketing position, etc.

As our digitized world becomes hyper-connected, over-complex and interdependent, digital leaders should build a design framework with multiple system perspectives, and develop a set of practices to make design a strategic goal and show how your work contributes to defined business goals and KPIs.

Design is multidisciplinary in nature. It’s important to leverage flexibility as a design principle to clearly define the future of digital business, and articulate attitude, aptitude, and altitude of design.

Design attitude: Design thinking and socio-technical systems concept are important and should become the fundamental principles for businesses to understand the digital dynamics and improve organizational maturity. From decision attitude to design attitude, the effective decision-making is based on understanding relationships between activities inside as well as outside an organization, and make the design as a strategic goal. Developed methodology and practices that engage the right people early in any design activity in ways that capture innovative thinking, manage decisions and conflicts throughout the design cycle.

Design is both a mentality and attitude. Designers (either for products/services or business models, etc) may speak in different languages. For example, people from IT tend to want to create taxonomies all the time while people in business care more about the actual concepts and less about the words. It’s important to clarify design-related communications and goals, make sure they are clear and unambiguous with a clear sense of purpose and where they want to be within a given timeframe. Design the business model based on the technologic vision, design thinking and on the mega-trends.

Design aptitude: Business transformation needs to be carried out within the company's system, apply design principles accordingly and build design as a unique business competency. Genuine design leadership capability is essential and most of the design activities have benefited from the use of business architecture and high-calibrated design teams. While doing actual work using “Design Thinking,” you must end with solutions, but you do need to understand that those solutions may come through the back doors and side windows. Therefore, always be careful about examining the potential points of engagement, rather than jumping to the “fixing” mentality.

Organizational leaders need to identify design capability gaps and make an objective assessment of the business design capability, develop the target state design competency, and figure out what needs to be done to improve it. By assessing, the management readily considers multiple dimensions (service, process, information, assets, people, etc.) of the adequacy of the business capability to fulfill their business strategy. You have to know how the product architecture works to design a usable front end that will work the way you think it does within the system that already exists. The healthy design cycle is that you design the process, then model, execute, monitor, optimize then again back to design. It's a continuous improvement cycle.

Design altitude: The digital business today is not just working within the industry, but also permeating to the cross-ecosystem. it is absolutely necessary for leaders to incorporate design thinking as part of the organizational culture, the management has to understand the value of design and put a lot of effort into it. The designer’s job in the business is to listen intently, help the organization make the intuitive and the best possible solution. The forward-thinking leaders understand how things like design thinking can fundamentally change organizations and their societal impact by demonstrating delightful products and services, as well as promoting sustainability and social responsibility.

To build a design-driven digital organization, you need to understand the company’s long-term goals, business identity or brand, and the industry realities such as competition or marketing position, etc. Business leaders need to ensure organizations are on the right track of embracing design as a culture and build a strong brand. From the organizational design perspective, designing a “digital fit” company as a sociological system enables the organization to morph as living conditions and capacity change, allow a better fit for the business purpose.

Understand the attitude, aptitude, and altitude of design in digital organizations in which people can learn and work, improve their productivity, creativity, and design competency so the company can climb the business maturity ladder from functioning to firm to delight.


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