Design as Strategy


There are two different levels to practice design – an execution level and a management level. The execution level is dominated by the more well-known design disciplines like product design, graphic design, packaging design etc.

citatationstegnGood design is good business -  Thomas Watson Jr, IBM - citatationstegn


At the managerial, or strategic, level it is actually about designing the company, and especially developing new business models and opportunities. These efforts must have special focus on the end users in order to develop new viable concepts, products, services and experiences.


This is what is called strategic design, which is also about managing the company in such a way, that the use of innovation and design resources leads to growth, strategic advantages and in the end to value creation within the company.


When one deals with strategic design, then the focus is very much on what the company is good at today and what it should be better at tomorrow. This is, among other issues, what the book "Blue Ocean Strategy" is all about. We just focus on the role of design.


This diagram shows the relationship between, on one hand, the complexity of a company’s offerings (the vertical axis) – and on the other hand how complex the organization is (the horizontal axis). The figure also emphasises that a greater design involvement and greater value creation in a combination brings the company up on a higher level.