FinNode USA - Design /Service Design as Business Strategy
Design Thinking: Redefine- Redesign
Companies of all sizes and industries are re-evaluating how to combine design, technology and new business models. For American manufacturers like Apple, Nike, and service providers like Google, Facebook, e-Bay, Twitter and You-Tube, the marriage of technology and design has been a driver in their success.
Another example is Starbucks coffeehouse. Starbucks is offering free Wi-Fi , customized drinks, and rewards programs. Just plain coffee would cost Starbucks $0.23, a coffee cup including all of the infrastructure costs would be $1.60, but Starbucks is able to charge $2.25 - $ 4.75 per cup. There are hundreds of different coffee variations that customers can order .Starbucks is creating a unique customer experience, and making big profits on their designer drinks. Amazon’s one-click ordering is another example of design thinking. Amazon has made ordering very easy, making the shopping experience as convenient as possible for consumers.
One expert describes in his design thinking model by using two axels and four corners. The questions in the opposite corners are : What we do (a) vs. Who we do it for (d)? Using a mousetrap as an example, the questions for companies in the different corners would be:
a) How to build a better moustrap?
b) How to trap more things?
c) How to attract new mice? and ultimately
d) Does it have to be a mousetrap?
Successful companies are in the upper right corner. One example of the company in that corner would be Virgin Airlines (Who we do it for) and in the opposite that corner would be 3M (What we do).
Studying design is important to enable companies to differentiate themselves. Competing with raw-material and labor alone, will lead to all products starting to look alike. Creativity, innovation and design are becoming critical success factors especially for Finland.
Design strategy will apply to all companies whether they are in machinery, system design or in the healthcare industry. The public sector can also employ service design thinking to solve problems for example in transportation, education and especially in the healthcare. The entire welfare system requires all possible resources to search for innovative solutions, especially the senior citizen sector. More baby boomers are reaching retirement age and there are more aging seniors in the coming years who want to stay at home and be active. There is a need to improve the quality of life for these citizens especially as resources are being cut from services year after year.
As mentioned in the Finnish National innovation strategy, design is:
•All-embracing activity, not simply the final result of an operation
•Design is a multidisciplinary way of solving problems
•Design is employed in products, services, systems and environments
Goal and strategic compliance
Project’s goal and its compatibility with the National innovation strategy and with the strategic objectives of FinNode partners, OSKEs, SHOKs etc.
The goal of this project is to study and learn about design as business strategy , business methods and new business models. Companies need tools and techniques to foster innovation. By understanding the fundamental processes of design, companies can create better products, smarter services, more elegant solutions and improve their business and make them sustainable.
The Design for America which started in Northwestern University and expanded into a nationwide network of interdisciplinary student teams and community members encourages problem-solving design. Its approach is to: define, discover, reframe, ideate, prototype and implement problem-solving design. This is just one way to look design thinking, there are of course other approaches as well that need to be studied and investigated.
Design /Service Design as Business Strategy is very much in compliance with National Innovation Strategy. In its 2010 report design is mentioned - “Design as a user-driven innovation policy instrument. Design has become an important strategic instrument in user-driven innovation policy. Design holds a key role in the innovation process, since studies have shown that enterprises investing in design are more innovative than others. In a user-driven approach, the relationship between design, innovations and competitiveness becomes emphasized; in such cases design can be regarded as a bridge between the supplier of the product or service and the user. Therefore, design strengthens the dialogue within the innovation process. For a company, the strategic utilization of design creates a competitive advantage”.
Design as Business Strategy is also in compliance of OSKE’s strategic objectives. The Centre of Expertise Programme is expected to generate new innovations, products, services and businesses.
February 2012: The project, the content and the goals will be fine tuned in February in Washington DC with the Finnode USA team - Finpro/ Finnode/ Tekes team members. The more detailed program and focus areas will be discussed then, action plans, and planning the relevant Finnish organizations to be invited for the program will be discussed then
March 2012: The kick-off in Finland with major partners and organizations to jointly finalize the scope of the project.
Project manager(Finpro), project manager (Tekes) & team:
Main tasks, schedule, deliverables (signal session, client seminar, report etc.) and cooperation (with FinNode partners, OSKEs, SHOKs etc.).
Project Managers: Maria Makela , Val Kraztman form Finpro, Tekes: Merja Salonen
•Arrange a kick-off seminar in Finland to discuss, plan and jointly finalize the scope of the project with OSKE and other relevant partners and organizations
Potential tasks, (to be fine-tuned and specified after the kick-off seminar:
•Survey the key US players who have mastered and are leaders in having design as one of their key business strategies.
•Study their business models and mechanisms.
•Find who are the market experts, leading thinkers and who to pay attention to.
•Uncover examples in public sector; how they have used design thinking in solving problems and creating new models.
• Study and connect with Academia and Research Institutes; who are the leading organizations and associations (there are several organizations, the US has no national initiative). Possible joint Venture with Aalto Univeristy
Scheduled to start March/April 2012 , finish by early 2013.
•Collect signals – Trendwiki
•Collect case studies
•Arrange Signal Session
•Arrange workshop and invite international players and experts to Finland to interact with Finnish companies. Spring 2013.
Cooperation: Tekes, SHOKs OSKEs, Aalto University and other relevant organizations
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