Sir George Cox once said that British enterprise seems to have adopted the mantra
"Can’t Innovate. Don’t Innovate. Go Nowhere!"
Yet we are being exhorted to "Innovate or die!"
The problem with just creating new products and services without real thought to how they connect with both our consumers and our business is that we can end up being successful in the former without making a success of the latter, which may hand the proposition to a rival or even a new entrant. As I have stated elsewhere
"Brands are made in the mind. Products are made in the factory. Design connects the two."
I was unaware of it at the time but Janice Kirkpatrick delivered a thoughtful lecture entitled
"Innovate or deteriorate. Design or die.The Role Of Design In Innovating For Business Success."
In it Kirkpatrick asks
"Why is it, that while the
future looks so tempting, many businesses continue to live in the past
rather than embracing the future? Why can’t they recognise that the
world has changed? Instead they prefer to rearrange the furniture or
stand still and gather dust. Are unable to face the uncertainty of
innovation and become paralysed, doing nothing at all?
Perhaps these businesses have inherited a cynicism about new ideas. New ideas are often presented as mere ‘entertaining diversions’ from tried and tested ways of doing things. But the excuse that “we've always done it this way because it works” is no longer an option. What works today may not be good enough to work tomorrow. Digital modelling, rapid prototyping and a host of new tools for accelerating the research and development process mean that new rivals appear from left-field and make your company obsolete overnight.
Other businesses maintain a superstitious attitude to innovation. They regard creativity as dangerous, unquantifiable ‘magic’ and creative people as unpredictable ‘artists’; reckless, irresponsible individuals who over-excite employees and ‘rock the boat’ by asking uncomfortable questions with unfamiliar, unsettling answers. It should take comfort from the knowledge that creativity is nothing new, it’s been around since the beginning of civilisation. Even ‘design’ as we know it, first appeared in the 1830s. There’s no excuse for being suspicious of a tried and tested process that's been professionally practised for over 170 years."
Packaging system design was moving from being a merely functional component of the product to a consumer tangible expression of the total product. We were faced with taking people on a journey- a design journey where some people had been part of the way, some thought they had been part of the way and those that hadn't thought about making a journey, let alone setting out on one!
Karim Rashid viewing the challenge from his perspective wrote to me
“Remember, we live in a world where beauty is finally appreciated again and innovation, technology, are shifting our social life. A bottle is no longer a just a stylized bottle but an artistic instrument for engaging brand, a philosophy, and an experience, in our new global lifestyle.”
Picture uploaded by gmarcos1. Used with thanks under CC.
We created a tool to facilitate people's arrival at a common starting position and an understanding of their role with respect to the other team members;in addition the role of the project and the expectation of its contribution to the organisational strategy and goals. It enables team to co-construct a vision of a winning product or service, driven by the motivating insight. It is called a Design Journey.