As a relatively new phenomenon, many organizations don’t fully grasp what business design is. While you might be channeling resources into internal business development efforts, it’s much less likely that you’re thinking in terms of business design - and are thus unaware of its benefits. Requiring external business design expertise doesn’t mean having a specific problem. In fact, you might not even know the problem you need to solve yet - making it even more vital to leverage the insights of an external business design partner.
Seeking business design consulting can help your business in a myriad ways, including driving growth, successful strategy, building effective business models, optimizing costs and organization, and creating excellent user experience (UX). But how does it help you do this?
Let’s take a look into the three main benefits of bringing some external business design expertise into your organization.
1. You get a new perspective
Business design is all about creating products that are not only feasible and desirable, but also commercially viable. This third pillar is missing in many businesses, and its absence has played a role in the downfall of the countless companies, with no market need being the leading reason for startup failure.
Without an external perspective, many companies cannot see the true viability of their product. Business design consultancy sheds light on this third pillar and helps organizations pivot to achieve it. Business designers bring new success strategies to the table, including customer-centric design methodologies, business tools, and a design mindset that your organization is yet to leverage.
2. You need someone to ask you difficult questions
Business designers embrace big questions and unexpected challenges. They see the value in always asking “why?” to every decision that is made - as this is the only way to truly scrutinize a business model. Without asking difficult questions and being prepared to be wrong, organizations can easily go off-track and build products that don’t resonate and ultimately fail.
A consulting business design team will pitch you extreme scenarios and prototypes that you will have never thought of to provoke reactions and generate new ideas. They’ll also use ideation techniques such as Challenging Orthodoxies, Worst Possible Idea, and SCAMPER to uncover issues that have been overlooked and allow you to see the bigger picture.
At intive, we have no qualms about questioning the fundamentals of the ways our clients run their business. In one case, we were tasked with finding opportunities to automate some internal processes and thus optimize costs. We noticed that working teams were spending time on manually updating numbers on a “whiteboard KPI tracker” that demonstrates the team’s performance.
While the immediate suggestion here might be to digitize the whiteboard and integrate it into the system’s dashboard, we questioned the need for the numbers in the first place. It turned out that the figures had been used to track performance for multiple years and no longer reflected the right business measures. Even when those KPIs were achieved, they gave little indication as to the business’ real health. By questioning the need for them, we didn’t just optimize processes, but also increased the business’ value.
3. End-to-end expertise
Unlike the homogenous teams that many organizations put together when first starting to use design thinking, business design consultancies are made up of experts that span disciplines, backgrounds, and expertise.
This means getting insights into the entire process of creating a successful product, from building the concept, to translating it into ongoing product management, including the development path. Business design teams also look at business models, company-level strategy, processes, and organizational structures.
A business design consultancy will tailor their service to your needs, while offering high-level insights on the end-to-end process. With intive, all you have to do is let our designers understand your business and strategy, and we not only help you in tweaking it, but we ensure the whole process goes smoothly too.
For example, after joining forces with Vorwerk in 2012, intive helped compliment Thermomix® with a dedicated iOS app that digitally connects the processes of cooking, planning and shopping. It soon became apparent that the scope of the work would expand to cover the continual development and improvement of the app using a design-led approach.
This evolved to include the design and architecture of the Cookidoo® digital ecosystem, embracing user and market research, product design strategy and consulting, design system development, concept development, UX/UI design, and web and native mobile development for both iOS and Android.
From an initial team of 10 team members to now dozens working on 13 different projects with Vorwerk, intive’s business design expertise plays a vital role in driving the vision of the company’s complete digital ecosystem.
Business design might not be a tried-and-tested strategy that’s been used across the corporate world for decades, but that may be exactly what makes it so promising. Fundamentally about challenging assumptions that are often embedded into businesses’ strategies and models, external business design consulting can truly turn your ideas on their head and produce impressive results in the process. Combine this with end-to-end expertise that sits at the intersection of business and design - taking the lessons from both - and you’re on your way to building exceptional products.