articles with #business

eyes

Did you never wonder why we have our eyes right next to each other and not, for example, one above the other, or one at the front and one at the back? The parallel arrangement obviously is evolution’s favorite. This genetically preferred eye-array has therefore influenced our behavior and the way we look at things: predominantly with a strong focus. That’s why we laugh at „Johnny Head-in-the-Air“, when he runs into a signpost or misses a turn, and regret the cow that doesn’t seem to notice the butcher right in front of her. We forced to take close notice of what is around us, and those who didn’t were eaten by predators and hence eliminated from our gene pool.

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system failure

Our world is a system that contains many sub-systems: the oceans, the forests, the climate – all are complex, fragile, and well-calibrated organisms with a system character. If one of the parts is not running well, the others will suffer as well: one weak spot will influence the overall performance. Systems can repair themselves, once they are not running well – unless the weak spot is getting larger than the self-curing ability of the parts involved. Then the whole system can collapse: system failures are the most wicked problems around us.

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switch

Design came a long way: whereas in the beginning, it had a focus on ‘shaping’ artifacts, objects, and communication means, it eventually turned to products, thereafter software, services and nowadays to complete experiences. To conclude this process of dissolving into the immaterial, design now turns to the thinking! Design Thinking is design’s new top-notch discipline. The ‘designing’ happens solely inside the brain and therefore it’s solutions are (mainly) thoughts. This means that design is now also accessible to those who are all thumbs – provided that the brain involved can support the required thinking…

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ROI

It was tough times for me, being a designer and being employed at a company that defined its reasoning based on financial indications, like turnover, gross margin, return on investment, and so on. Eventually also you, as a designer, have to define your reasoning according to such parameters. Unavoidably the question on the ‘return on investment’ (ROI) will pop-up, like “What do I get back for every Euro I spent on design? Tell me, what’s actually the ROI of design?”

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lesson learned

How great that we have the designer, who is able to view the issue from another angle, and by that can generate new and relevant insights, isn’t it?

True, not only designers can do that – it just needs a design thinking, which is driven by curiosity and empathy and wants to improve the existing for the better – and frankly this can be done by all of us, in principle. But what you have to bring along for the ‘better’ truly will be perceived as such by others, is a creative and emphatic mind, which is able to envision how this ‘better’ will take shape and have the desired impact on others. This poses such a beautiful mind is not within everyone’s reach… more…

angry designer

It was one of these design events, like many others in Germany: after the panellists had held their speeches, it was time for the Q&A! Finally, the audience had the chance to express their opinion, and some immediately took their chance. It was just a question of minutes for the question to be asked – the one on the status of design within companies! more…

locked out

Desperately but somewhat clueless he was trying to unlock the entrance door with his id-card – like all of us, he had this plastic card on a practical belt clip – but the door didn’t open. I released him out of this hopeless situation by opening the door with my personal card and let him in. It was quite obvious that he was a colleague from within the company, and as it turned out, he was actually looking for me. “Why are the doors locked for company employees”, he immediately wanted to know, “there is a control right at the main entrance?” more…

expensive

Now, after many years of collaboration, I can say for sure that he’s truly favourably impressed: by design, and by designers. I would even assume that he secretly admires us, the designers.

His initially reserved and rejective stance against any member of the ‘design-species’ was resulting from, what I believe, the awareness that he could never do, what designers do, but designers might be able to do, what he’s doing – at least if they wanted to… and luckily enough, they didn’t! more…

superconductor

Within some companies the design, be it for products, communication or service seems to be conceived and executed by one single person: all just fit together perfectly. But we know that many design activities take place to create this perfect picture. Brands who have understood that a well-orchestrated and holistic experience across all touchpoints solidifies their identity are creating the basis for customer loyalty, and are a leading example to all other companies. Like with an orchestra playing out of tune, customers will turn away from companies, who are not able to harmonize the ‘interplay’ of their organizational parts to create a collective showing. Remember the story of the kitchen nightmare? more…

conveyor belt design

The project team met and the representatives from the various departments gathered in the so-called war-room. This room showcased the state of progress concerning the running project by means of posters stuck on a wall. My contributions to the war-room – the design proposal – were covered with neon-coloured post-its, which made me wonder if this meant any good…

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