Mindsets & Methods
The discipline of Business Design integrates design-inspired mindsets and methods into a logical and well-balanced way of doing business through the 3 Gears. To excel in Business Design you must start with the right mindset, and apply the appropriate methods. These methods will unlock your best thinking and tap into your intuition, imagination, and ability to create original solutions. Experiencing a new way to think will reinforce your innovator mindset as you discover new ways to create value. Practiced on an ongoing basis, Business Design is an exercise in emotional, intellectual and tactical agility1 that will become an increasingly intuitive way to work.
Innovation also entails having the right mindset in tackling the task at hand.
Empathy: being able to see and feel what others see and feel, leading to a deeper understanding of the opportunity to better serve needs
Openness: being receptive to new ideas, new people, and new ways of doing things, often characterized by curiosity, an active imagination, and an ability to suspend judgment
Mindfulness: being aware of people, places, and things in order to develop deeper understanding and an expanded repertoire of reference points and position yourself to capitalize on serendipity in seizing unexpected design opportunities
Intrinsic Motivation: being fueled by purpose and passion that come from a genuine interest, excitement, and engagement in your work
Embracing constraints: seeing constraints as a source of creativity, to avoid trade-offs and compromises in the pursuit of the ideal solution and the most distinct enterprise strategy
Courage and Vulnerability: putting new ideas on the table without being worried about whether the ideas are wrong or right; knowing that bad ideas in the exploration phase often lead to good ones later on in development
Optimism: believing in possibilities with a hopeful and even naive view of what could be, not trapped by what is today; allowing for an intuitive “leap of logic” in making the case for a new future reality
Resilience: driving forward toward creative and productive resolutions, even in the face of minor setbacks or failures along the way.
Need finding: developing a deeper understanding of the people who matter as the focus of Gear 1, complementing quantitative analysis with more ethnographic methods like observation and listening to user stories
Visualizing: helping others to “see” relationships, new concepts, and even new strategies in visual ways instead of relying on documents and verbal descriptions
Iterative prototyping: translating abstract concepts into concrete prototypes – tangible representations of solutions and business models in rough form early on (before the big bucks get spent) – as a catalyst for thinking, dialogue, learning, and accelerated development
Systems mapping: making connections, visualizing relationships, and synthesizing the way people, solutions, and enterprise systems all connect
Collaboration: capitalizing on diverse perspectives and types of expertise within cross-disciplinary teams to create richer, more robust, and more unexpected outcomes
Co-creation: inviting users and other stakeholders into the development process to gain valuable feedback and advance solutions and strategic models
Storytelling: capturing the richness and complexities of big ideas through compelling stories so others can not only see but feel the impact of the vision in a holistic and human manner
Experimentation: trying new things and testing uncertainties with the intent to learn and advance development.
In my years at P&G and in the brand communications business, I have observed that those who go about their work in this way often make progress faster, with earlier and broader buy-in, and ultimately with better results. Business Design is about applying these methods more broadly, deliberately, and consistently across an enterprise.