“In my experience, true success comes for the designer and the business executive when the two can bridge the artificial lines that have too often separated their worlds. This book also talks about building that bridge – about how creative minds and business minds collaborate, and how both sides of the business-design partnership can prosper within that process. I won’t say that this collaboration is a silver bullet for every problem facing a company, but I do believe it is the best way to develop a better business today and to build a sustainable future for that business.”
How do the designer and the business executive collaborate on helping their company to become an “engine of innovation”? Esslinger suggests a three-step process:
Step 1 — Groundwork: Preparation and research requires both competence and selectivity (e.g. choosing the right goals, teams, partners, clients, projects, metrics).
Step 2 – Creative Collaboration: Successful results-driven teamwork involves rituals (e.g. brainstorming), projection (i.e. shared vision of change to be achieved), and management (e.g. consensus-building, support planning, “shepherding” innovation to implementation).
Step 3 – Marketing: Introducing a product (both internally and externally) while refining and proving its benefits, optimizing the innovation’s role in the business model, and providing the leadership tools necessary to take the innovation to market).
Other sources to consider:
The Design of Business
Five Minds for the Future
Change by Design
Design Driven Innovation
Thomas Kelley with Jonathan Littman.
The Art of Innovation
The Ten Faces of Innovation
Esslinger is the founder of frog design, inc., a global innovation firm, and one of the most respected designers and business consultants in the world. His designs are in the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in NYC.