These days the talk of the town for all businesses and the big cheeses that operate them is that one simply can’t escape the claws of design transformation. You’ll see it being talked about at every conference keynote, networking event, panel discussion, strategic planning session you simply can’t get away from it. Some say without it you simply can’t continue to run your business for the foreseeable future in the 21st century and retain your competitive edge.
Getting to grips with the what a design transformation means for your business and actually implementing your strategy is where the rubber hits the road. But as with all things, the best place to start is at the start. What the heck is all the buzz about and what does it actually mean? Could be a new innovative way to describe company culture? A shiny new form of market research? How do we know we have been transformed? What parts of the business needs to be changed to fit into the new strategy? Does one need to hire new staff to get the ball rolling on the transformation or do I need to get a consultant in to help? But the biggest question on everyone's mind - Is it all just hype that’ll die down in a few years? Remember the Y2K PC ready initiative….. 😝
Pinning down the true definition of a design transformation is a tall order - as it can look completely different to for each company. In broad terms, it’s the ability to deliver value-based experiences, products and services effectively. They muster this while maintaining high levels of responsiveness and being dynamic enough to embrace new changes whilst ensuring maximum utilisation of the talent on hand cultivating the ideas they bring - to constantly propel the company forward.
Naturally, this also translates into a significant shift in company culture. This could mean stepping away from age-old business processes that were all too familiar and exchanging them for experimental processes that may not be fully defined or tested. No risk no reward right?
Mouthful isn’t it? But that’s the crux of what a Design Transformation is!
Getting the buy-in from stakeholders that don’t fully understand the concept of a Design Transformation or why they need to even consider it is not an easy task. Alas, there are a few rather simple and compelling arguments you can arm yourself with that are backed up with facts and figures - the best kind of wielding power one has to have!
A threat to the companies survival is perhaps the most real to business owners. When examining the S&P Index, history tells us that companies that were listed in 1958 had on average been there for 61 years. By 2011, that average had plummeted to 18 years. And in 2018 companies have been replaced on the Index as frequent as every other week. And it's changing ideas that are driving the shift. The companies that are willing to rethink their processes and strategies are seeing that gamble pay off, and those that do not are being left behind.
But making the shift is not an easy task and is not to be underestimated. IDC’s predictions for CIOs in 2018 have observed that, stating: “Through 2019, dragged down by conflicting imperatives, ineffective technology innovation, cloud infrastructure transition, and underfunded end-of-life core systems, 75 percent of CIOs and their enterprises will fail to meet all their objectives.” So those who are lying awake at night sweating about the future of their own and the company's survival should focus their attention to securing company-wide support and buy-in to get the design transformation right from the get-go. Who knows this may be your only shot to make it work!
So what is best practice for creating and implementing a plan to adopt a design transformation in a company? We believe the gateway to this lies in education that is powered by expert help and mentorship. Undergoing change is never easy but there are certainly ways to make the process less painful, less jarring whilst simultaneously increasing the chances of success. And given that the dire prediction from the IDC, you may have just that one shot to get things going.
Question is will you be the change or will you watch is walk right past you?