Strategic design: Our Framework for Innovation
If you wonder why your carefully set up innovation team often fails to deliver meaningful innovations, or why great ideas get stuck in prototyping, Strategic Design might be the answer.
In many companies, design has played a secondary role in the innovation process up to now. Designers often stand at the end of the process and take care of aesthetics. Yet it has long been clear that design methods, used strategically, can boost the innovation process. For example, do your teams not come up with enough suitable product ideas? Or do the ideas not make it out of the prototype lab? Strategic Design helps remedy problems like this.
Strategic Design boosts business development and innovation
Creating an environment for innovation
For most companies, innovation is at the center of strategic business development. However, compared to production or logistics, innovation is less predictable and harder to control. Innovation projects are a journey into the unknown, and have to be treated as such. But the right conditions for this journey often go against the grain of traditional organizational processes and ideas of efficiency. Therefore, these conditions have to be created first. With our idea of a Strategic Design framework, we want to provide a tool you can use to embark on this journey in order to make innovation an engaging and productive challenge.
Structuring creativity for meaningful innovation
A human-centered process
Strategic Design is focused on humans and their needs. Thus, it will also shape the work around the needs of the participants, making collaboration more effective, satisfying, and engaging. Used in the right way, this will lead to the process spreading through the organization and the cultivation of a new way of working. It is a communicative, interactive approach, and thus best learned in practice through immersion in a process that is tailored exactly for the needs of the team.
For example, during a selected project you might introduce the participants to the specific elements of Strategic Design. We might support you with designers, coaches, or communication experts and foster relevant competencies and methodological knowledge within the team. This takes place in a specifically modified design process that combines goal-oriented work with frequent team retros for reflection. At the end of the project you will have developed prototypes and fitting business models for further use as well as sustainable competency in your team, so that you can continue using the framework in the future.
Managing the innovation process
From ideas to results
Far from being a laissez-faire creativity fest, Strategic Design maintains keeps the innovation process focused on its destination. To this end, we use a combination of design process management and business development tools, some of which are displayed below.
Innovation starts with individuals
We have developed Strategic Design as a form of generative collaboration within the agency, but also for dealing with our clients. Generative collaboration means that people contribute of their own accord to create something new. The prerequisites for this are an appropriate working environment and trust. Trust that one’s own abilities, ideas and objections are valued and weaknesses accepted. In this atmosphere, more and better ideas emerge; criticism inevitably becomes constructive, promotes the design process or contributes to team development. Of course, this only works if the appreciation of the individual is genuine.
In order to achieve high-quality work results and at the same time expand the team’s capabilities, Strategic Design is based on a dual steering principle in which you optimise both the design process and the collaboration and personal development of those involved. Since our framework is customizable, you don’t have to start with a big transformation. We can also develop tangible, connectable results together on a selective basis, for example in a joint sprint or in one of your existing innovation projects. Of course, we also coach the team in the application of the methods and principles.
Getting started with Strategic Design
Get in touch
If you have questions about Strategic Design or would like to find out more about what it can do for you, think about getting in touch with Felix Guder. Felix is our managing director, a passionate advocate of Strategic Design, and will be delighted to talk to you.
+49 (0) 69 15 32 018 21