Disrupting through design
GE’s strategy demonstrates how future chief executives will utilise the power of design to transform businesses and disrupt industries proactively, rather than just respond to developments in the market.
Like designers, today’s business leaders have to lead into the unknown. They don’t know the answer ahead of time – innovation is unpredictable – so a company cannot define and control change in the same way it does other business processes. The designer’s toolkit can help.
Designers gain inspiration by immersing themselves in users’ experiences. They progress iteratively, learning, designing, prototyping, testing and refining, until they get the new customer experience right. This is a process that can be applied more broadly to an organisation going through change.
“Design thinking provides a way for a leader to engage in the innovation process,” says Mr West. “It helps companies pay closer attention to customers and anticipate the future by constantly testing and refining ideas until the market is ready.
“Ultimately, leaders who think like designers are better at motivating their organisation to innovate. It enables CEOs to move forward with confidence, even though they cannot know exactly where they’re going. It’s a way of leading change.”
As originally seen in ‘Future CEO‘ published by Raconteur Media on December 1, 2016 in THE TIMES. Written by Ben Rossi.