Design Driven Business Development
What is Design Driven Business Development?
Design Driven Business Development is a holistic approach to creating innovative, successful and sustainable businesses and organizations. Within this framework design processes and their inherent creative problem-solving methodologies are no longer only applied to single business aspects like products or services but to the creation of new businesses themselves.
Business models and processes are being created in collaborative setups and are based on extensive user research and ethnographic study of the contexts in which the business or organisation will be operating. Agile approaches and lean development strategies are being applied in supra-disciplinary collaboration. Teams are using creative problem-solving methods to quickly create tangible results that are then tested and iterated until a business-market fit is reached.
How does it work? - An exemplary project process …
- Kick-off and Input - What is Design Driven Business Development?
- Stakeholder context - What is the situation? What are the different perspectives? Formulation of goals.
- User Research - What do we know about our customers? Collecting insights. Understanding the context.
- Problem Framing - What are critical insights? What are general themes? What challenges do we need to focus on? Framing one or more challenges in a way that we can begin to generate solutions. Mapping out all aspects of the problem or challenge(s)
- Solution modelling - How are we going to tackle the challenge(s)? Selecting the right methods and tools. Outlining different aspects and details of the solution.
- Ideation and prototyping - Sketching, narrating, prototyping solutions in a tangible, easy to understand format.
- Business modelling - Defining a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Modelling the business for this MVP.
- Testing and iteration - Launching and testing the MVP with real customers. Collecting insights to inspire further development of the MVP.
Design Driven Business Development can be conducted within a series of workshops as an initiative or as an ongoing business practice within an everyday working process. We strongly recommend not to view this approach as a one-time measure but as a beginning shift of the organizational culture towards a more efficient and innovative environment.
Why is it important?
Business and organizations today are challenged not only to constantly improve their processes and offerings but to permanently reinvent themselves, cannibalize their own business models and move into new uncharted (often digital) territories.
In order to find radically new solutions these organizations need to boldly experiment with new technologies and perspectives on their customers, brands and market positioning. Design Driven Business Development provides a robust and reliable framework to plant new business seeds, scale successful business endeavours and stay creative within existing ones.
While markets and economies are quickly changing due to demographics, consumer behaviour, emerging markets, climate change, globalization, digitalization and technological progress in general, companies and organizations often struggle to find answers for related challenges when they rely on their standard procedures and processes of planning and controlling.
Instead of top-down initiatives that - after long tedious and expensive planning and developing phases - often fail when they are finally released to the market, Design Driven Business Development offers a totally different strategy and angle of attack.
Ideas and insights are quickly transformed into minimal versions of the respective offering, then immediately tested, adjusted and released to the market. After being successfully introduced in a small part of a market these offerings stay subject to change, tests and further adjustments. Those offerings that proof relevant are then scaled and distributed to a broader spectrum of the market. This approach allows for an innovation mindset - creating many solutions in as short a timeframe as possible - while at the same time controlling the costs for the creation of these new solutions.
What is our opinion?
Today companies and organizations are challenged to come up with solutions quickly. This can stress teams and management as most companies do not have a culture that welcomes change and risk taking. Therefore, Design Driven Business Development offers the tools and processes to conduct innovation at limited costs and without having to change the whole organization at once. For employees working in different formats and learning about the effective design methods to come up with new ideas can be really rewarding and motivating to take responsibility for an organization's ability to innovate.