Saturday, September 06, 2008

MBA Design Leadership elective - session 7

Design-led innovation

Our guest speaker for this class was Andrew McGrath, head of design and usability at Orange Global. Andrew's presentation drew together ideas from other sessions including how the design team is integrated into a large and complex international company like Orange and its role in developing new products and services. Like the previous week's speaker, he emphasized the importance of design being integrated into a company's operations - a challenge for individual designers who through education or personality retain the idea of the designers as creative genius. His team work closely with the branding and market research teams. Their activities include consultancy for Orange's operations in different countries, the creation of style guides for products and services delivered by mobile networks, broadband and TV and benchmarking of customer experiences. "Good design can flourish in a corporation," he said but warned "this takes masses of effort and cunning to put it into practice."

The reading for this class included Hargadon's ideas of design leadership using design principles and practices; Hatchuel's concept of design-oriented organisations which develop a learning culture in order to exploit new knowledge and new concepts; and Verganti's research into innovation inspired by networks of designers and their creation of new product languages.

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