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    Design Thinking for the Experience Age

    Designing experiences are the new frontier for customer and employee attraction and retention.

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      Vaughan Broderick

      Vaughan Broderick

      Hey friends ๐Ÿ‘‹,

      The information age is over, and the experience age is here.

      With immersive technology, people seek experiences rather than simply accessing information on their devices.

      Business has always been about experiences and I believe it has little to do with technology. But, we have matured to value the experiences of individuals and collectives.

      Take, for instance, the recent acceleration of remote work and solopreneurship post-pandemic. As a result, more people have discovered alternative ways to create a lifestyle that suits their wishes.

      Does that mean remote work is for everyone? No.

      Does that mean every business will operate remotely? No.

      It means that organisations need to move from solely focusing on delivering products and services that customers value to thinking about designing better experiences for customers, employees and the wider community.

      The intangible now significantly influences tangible economic, societal and cultural outcomes.

      Today’s we’ll uncover:

      • Why design (innovation) is good for business.
      • Design thinking employee experience.

      Let’s go!

      ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽจ Why Design is Good for Business

      According to the Design Value Index, design-centric companies return 211% over the average of the S&P 500.

      Some top performers include ones you’d expect, like, Apple, Nike, and Walt Disney. But there are also surprises like Target, Starbucks, Procter & Gamble, and Stanley Black & Decker.

      When we look at the selection criteria, it provides a snapshot of the way forward for any business to become more innovative and competitive.

      The six criteria (and my interpretation) include:

      1. Design operates at scale across the enterprise. (A culture of innovation has been embedded, silos reduced, resources are leveraged and capabilities developed).
      2. Design holds a prominent place on the company organisational chart, and either sits on the leadership team or directly reports to a leadership team member. (Innovation is elevated to prominence within the board and c-suite).
      3. Experienced executives manage the design function. (Leaders are design doing in their words and actions).
      4. Design sees a growing level of investment to support its growing influence. (Investment is flowing towards tangible results).
      5. Design enjoys senior leadership support from the top tier of the organization. (Discussed above).
      6. The company has been publicly-traded on a U.S. exchange for the last ten years and thereby adheres to GAAP accounting rules.

      I appreciate that the data from the Design Value Index is from 2016. So, let’s consider how McKinsey views design.

      McKinsey tracked over three hundred companies from multiple countries and industries to add to the studies (including that of the Design Management Institute) and form the 2018 McKinsey Design Index.

      Top design companies generate revenue and shareholder returns at nearly 200%.

      McKinsey describe the pillars of design as:

      • Analytical leadership. Measuring and driving design performance with the same rigour as revenues and cost.
      • It’s cross-functional talent. Make user-centric design everyones’s responsibility, not a siloed function.
      • It’s user experience. Break down internal walls between physical, digital and service design.
      • It’s continuous iteration. De-risk development by continually listening, testing and iterating with end-users.

      The financial returns speak for themselves when focusing on users/customers. But, design and innovation must consider all key participants to remain competitive.

      ๐Ÿ‘ท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ Design Thinking for Employee Experience

      According to PWC, only 57% of employees are satisfied with their job.

      People desire more lifestyle balance, personal development, and ethical and inclusive workplaces.

      And the reality is that the implementation of strategy and innovation, customer experience, and word of mouth is all delivered by or as a result of employees.

      ย So, attracting and retaining staff (remote or in-person) requires new thinking and approaches.

      I advise using design thinking approaches (journey mapping, service blueprints and personas) to discover and understand what matters to employees and then redesign ‘people and culture’ policies and procedures to enable better experiences, such as bereavement leave, performance reviews and DEI.

      Culture is an output of clear strategy, systems and rules, leadership, capabilities and structure of an organisation.

      And culture is what will ultimately attract and retain people.

      That’s all for today friends!

      I hope that helps to give perspective on the tangible outcomes from design thinking and innovating often intangible experiences.

      Feel free to reply to this email if you have any question or newsletter requests.

      Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next week.

      Keep future-thinking,

      Vaughan

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