At OpenHouse, we love business design because we see it as a tool to help underresourced founders find opportunities to bring something new and different to the market that may not be able to compete against massive capital and network disparities. If you were to Google "business design," you would be inundated with thousands of results, each with a slightly different definition. With a few well-thought-out design choices, you can gain a competitive edge that will help you build a lasting and growing business.
I also adore design thinking because of its emphasis on research and empathy. Bernadette Jiwa once said that without empathy, you can't develop great ideas, create differences, or build successful brands.
Any business that wants to develop a new product or service or enhance an already existing one should consider using business design. If you want to explore more effective and efficient ways of doing things, whether you're a start-up developing a disruptive product or an enterprise looking to revamp its web experience, business design could be a great fit.
Business Design is a problem-solving approach that uses design thinking principles to identify new business opportunities and create innovative solutions. It means taking a look at your business as a whole and ensuring your strategy meets your customers' needs.
The Business Design process typically involves four stages:
Incorporating Business Design into your business strategy can lead to numerous benefits, including:
How can you learn Business Design?
If you're interested in learning more about Business Design, numerous resources are available to help you get started. You can read books, attend workshops, or work with a consultant who specializes in Business Design. The key is to begin by understanding design thinking principles and how they can be applied to your business.
After diving into Design Thinking, your next step as a practitioner is to understands business model patterns. Think of Business model patterns as individual power rangers that come together to become this Mighty Morphin fighter.
My recommendations for diving into business model patterns are:
Business Model Navigator [Website]
The Ten Faces of Innovation [Thriftway] [Amazon]
But I am known for criticizing design thinking as a method and as a community because it doesn't have any steps that let us enact equity at every step of the process. You can read about it in my Medium article, Why I'm tired of Design Thinking.
If you want to get out of the shallow end, you might want to add liberatory design and equity-centered design to your design thinking process.
I've even switched from the conventional design sprint to liberatory design sprints for every team I work with.
Liberatory design established by the National Equity Project differs from design thinking because design thinking focuses on solving specific problems. Liberatory design, on the other hand, looks at the reasons why problems happen, which are often deeply rooted in systems of power and inequality.
And Equity -Centered Design was created by the Creative Reaction lab and incorporates things like history, healing, and acknowledging power structure in design challenges.
Whatever framework you use in your business, I want you to hold on to a key value of all of these processes; designing and business is a messy process that calls for ongoing moments of finding clarity, connection with the people you want to serve, and collaboration.
Ask yourselves these questions: