Business design is a human-centered approach to innovation and problem-solving that combines design thinking, business strategy, and entrepreneurship. It involves creating new business models, products, and services by focusing on customer needs, market trends, and organisational capabilities. Business designers use tools and methodologies from design thinking and lean startup to prototype and test new ideas, validate assumptions, and iterate quickly based on customer feedback. The goal of business design is to create sustainable and scalable business solutions that create value for both customers and the organisation.
An area of opportunity or potential that has not yet been explored or developed. It can refer to a gap in the market, an unmet customer need, or an untapped resource. White space can be identified through market research, customer interviews, or other forms of analysis, and can be the basis for new product or service development, business model innovation, or other strategic initiatives. The term "white space" comes from the idea of a blank or empty space on a page that is waiting to be filled with something new and innovative.
Design Thinking is a systematic, human-centered approach that goes beyond traditional concerns, addressing complex problems in various aspects of life. It emphasises user needs, continuous feedback, and early prototyping to generate practical results. Originally focused on product redesign, it now drives business model innovation, value proposition design, and ecosystem development. Design Thinking supports digital transformation, fosters collaboration across silos, and influences strategic work based on customer needs.
The facilitator plays a crucial role in guiding the design thinking process and helping the team develop a shared understanding of the problem, empathize with the user, generate ideas, and test solutions. The facilitator is not responsible for developing the solutions or making decisions, but rather provides guidance and support to enable the team to work collaboratively and effectively. Different tools and methods can be employed by the facilitator to foster open communication, creativity, and critical thinking among the team members.
The Lean Startup methodology emphasizes the importance of quickly testing assumptions and gathering feedback from customers to validate or invalidate hypotheses. The build-measure-learn cycle involves creating a small, minimally viable version of the product or solution, measuring its performance, and then learning from the feedback to make improvements or pivot the idea in a new direction. This process is repeated in a continuous loop until the product or solution achieves product-market fit and is successful in the market.
Desirability (Design Innovation)
Desirability refers to whether or not the innovation is something that people actually want and will use. This category is focused on user needs and preferences, and it includes questions such as: What do users want and need from this innovation? How can the innovation be designed to be intuitive and user-friendly? How can the innovation create a positive emotional experience for users?
Feasibility (Design Innovation)
Feasibility refers to whether or not the innovation can be realistically built given the available technology and resources. This category is focused on technical constraints and considerations, and it includes questions such as: What are the technical requirements for building this innovation? Is it possible to build the innovation with current technology? What are the limitations and challenges of building this innovation?
Viability (Design Innovation)
Viability refers to whether or not the innovation is financially sustainable and will generate enough revenue to make it worth pursuing. This category is focused on business considerations, and it includes questions such as: Is there a market for this innovation? How much will it cost to develop and produce the innovation? What is the expected return on investment for the innovation?
Innovation governance is the process by which organisations manage and oversee their innovation activities to achieve strategic objectives. It involves defining and implementing policies, procedures, and structures that enable effective decision-making, risk management, and resource allocation for innovation initiatives.
Here are some examples of overall innovation governance:
Number of new products or services launched: This metric measures the organisation's ability to bring new and innovative products or services to market.
Return on investment (ROI) for innovation projects: This metric calculates the financial return on investment for innovation projects, helping to ensure that resources are being used effectively.
Percentage of revenue from new products: This metric measures the percentage of revenue generated from new products, providing an indication of the organisation's success in driving innovation.
Employee engagement in innovation: This metric measures the extent to which employees are engaged in innovation initiatives, helping to ensure that innovation efforts are being driven from within the organisation.
Time-to-market for new products: This metric measures the amount of time it takes for new products to go from ideation to launch, providing an indication of the organisation's ability to move quickly and effectively in response to market demands.
The problem definition phase is a critical stage in the innovation process, which involves gaining a deep understanding of the problem or challenge at hand, as well as the needs and desires of the people who will be impacted by the problem. This includes understanding the market perspective, identifying the customers, users, and stakeholders who are impacted by the problem, and using research methods such as interviews, observation, and analysis to empathise with users and gain insights into their perspectives.
In this phase the focus shifts to ideating and exploring potential solutions to the defined problem. The goal is to find a solution that effectively addresses the problem and meets the needs and desires of the users and stakeholders (desirablity). This phase requires a creative and collaborative approach to generate a range of potential solutions, as well as the ability to evaluate and refine those solutions. The ideation process can involve brainstorming sessions, prototyping, and other creative techniques to generate and refine potential solutions. The ultimate goal is to arrive at a solution that achieves problem-solution fit, meaning that it effectively addresses the problem and meets the needs and desires of the users and stakeholders.
Proof of concept (PoC)
Proof of concept is a stage in the design thinking process where a prototype or model is developed to test the feasibility of a potential solution. This prototype is often a simplified version of the final product or service, and is used to demonstrate that the proposed solution can be successfully developed and implemented. The goal of a proof of concept is to validate the assumptions and hypotheses made during the problem-solving process, and to provide evidence that the proposed solution is feasible and has potential for success.
Product-market fit is a critical phase in the innovation process, typically occurring after the development of a minimum viable product (MVP). It involves validating whether the MVP meets the needs and desires of the target market and if it solves their problems or satisfies their desires. By testing and gathering feedback, the team aims to achieve a stronger product-market fit, which demonstrates the viability and potential success of the product in the market. This validation process helps ensure that the product has a strong value proposition and aligns well with the target customers, increasing its chances of market viability and acceptance.
Minimal viable product
An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a version of a new product or service that is designed to test the viability of the solution with the minimum set of features required to provide value to the customer. It is typically used to validate the product hypothesis and identify the critical features required for success. By launching an MVP, the team can gather feedback from early adopters and use it to iteratively improve the solution until it is ready for full-scale production.
Co-creation in innovation is a collaborative process where a diverse group of stakeholders work together to develop new ideas, products, or services. This approach involves actively engaging users, customers, partners, and other stakeholders in the innovation process to generate insights, ideas, and feedback. The aim of co-creation is to create solutions that better meet the needs and expectations of all stakeholders, while also driving business growth and success. Co-creation can help organisations develop more innovative, customer-centric, and sustainable products and services, while also building stronger relationships and trust with their stakeholders.