Nathan Rosenberg is the person who executives turn to for advice. He has worked with more than 100 of the 1000 largest companies in the world and has been founder or CEO of 5 companies. As an example of his experience, he provided innovation consulting that led a well-known consumer goods company to add $200M of revenue in year 1 of acting on his advice.
He is co-authoring a chapter in PDMA’s “Design and Design Thinking” book titled “Leading for a Corporate Culture of Design Thinking.”
Practices and Ideas for Product Managers, Developers, and Innovators
Highlights from the discussion include…
- Corporate culture plays a key role in the function of an organization and can determine whether an organization may or may not succeed.
- It is important to be aware of your organization’s corporate culture in order to have the ability to change or transform it to make it better serve the organization’s goals.
- Four pillars that help organizations enable design thinking:
- Leadership Mandate: Design thinking is a source of competitive advantage for companies. Make sure the reigns leading any innovation are strong and well supported.
- Dedicated Infrastructure: Visible resources, processes, and structures are needed to help those who have ideas for innovation and don’t know how to move it forward. Keeping a scoreboard or metrics system can help you evaluate whether you’re being productive (or not) with your innovation efforts.
- Proprietary Process: The innovation process that a company has for taking an idea and turning it into a product. Innovation has to be a fit for the company and the company has to be a fit for innovations. That is why it is proprietary. The need here is to align with the culture that you have. Not all innovation processes are equal nor do they create equal results for all organizations.
- Supportive Culture: The more sense of “touch, taste, feel, and smell” that employees have for their customers, the more that corporate culture is going to be supportive of design thinking.
- Nathan describes 4 stages of transforming corporate culture to enable design thinking:
- Stage 1: Reveal the already existing culture in your organization and analyze it thoroughly.
- Stage 2: Unhook from the existing culture. The company has the ability to let go of things that are not helping the organization as a whole.
- Stage 3: Pay attention to the market space and where it is heading. Don’t try to adapt your company to what the market looks like at the present time because the market is always shifting.
- Stage 4: Implement the new culture through new processes, systems, and structures.
“Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: ‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.’” – W.H. Murray (—from the Scottish Himalayan Expedition, published 1951)
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