Everyone talks about leadership …
Leadership has become a buzzword in the modern business world. That’s because leadership is the make-or-break factor of every company. A successful leader inspires his employees and delivers the required economic results. But is there more to the verb “to lead” than that?
A great leader starts with why. Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”, states that the leader of a company is the embodiment and messenger of the organization’s why, which is the fundamental reason a company exists in the first place. Why should the customer do business with my company? Is it because my product is the best on the market or because it is the best product for a given group? Purchase decisions are usually not as rational as we want to think. Customers do not buy based solely on quality or pricing. Above all, it is the human aspect of the company and/or brand that creates brand loyalty. When customers believe the message of the brand, they are more likely to purchase, and to repurchase.
A great leader knows the importance of design. Design brings people closer to a brand and design is responsible for the best products on the market. The focus is not so much on the form of the product, but on the behavior of the people. Design is not just about making something aesthetically pleasing; design creates a solution by giving an interface to a set of features and functions, thus creating a marketable product portfolio. Because great leaders know this, they actively promote design thinking at every level of the company.
The late Bill Moggridge of IDEO fame, insisted on making design thinking part of daily business. As an international design and consulting firm, IDEO was responsible for Apple’s first mouse, amongst many other projects. Their design focuses on the human side of technology, and how it can become a useful tool for everyday life. In Moggridge’s mind, “interaction design” is the key to creating a fulfilling user experience for the customer by bridging the gap between unemotional technology and the human user. Moggridge started out as an industrial designer, and later was appointed director of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, without having a background in art history. His faith in interdisciplinary teams and human-centered design as well as his love for listening and storytelling got him the job in the end. Moggridge applied his “design thinking” principles in the museum and created interactive educational experiences for different audiences that prove the impact of design in all our lives.