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Monday, November 17, 2008


Hi all

Couple of Interesting articles posted recently on Business Week.

1. IBM Reshaping its Sales Meetings & using design to do that

2. Obama's Seven Lessons for Radical Innovators

3. India Inc: A Lesson in Business Design

First about IBM Article: The article talks about how IBM infusing design thinking for reshaping how sales teams bring new business.

First things first, (According to the article) design thinking is about observing what customers wants and then creating, testing, refining prototype to address those desires. Keeping in mind this approach IBM found out points when their clients were pleased & what made them unhappy. Based on their analysis they have reshaped their sales meetings right from making first contact with prospective client.

The whole process from contacting client to closing a deal with him is divided into three phase process known as KNOW, FLOW & GROW. The sales members now are given extremely detailed guidelines of what to show, tell & when to speak.

Since design thinking also points out to be empathetic to the user needs which in this case is the client, IBM noted suitable experience like signs at reception welcoming clients & national flags, pronouncing clients names correctly, properly arranging their arrival at office, etc pleased clients & provided a more relaxed, friendly & humane environment different from normal corporate culture.

From this article I noted that the focus is on infusing Human Centered design even into the process of Sales meeting. I still remember how Japanese companies focused on such details (from first contact of meeting us and till we left) while some of us visited them. So moral of Story no 1: Try to be empathetic & look from customer's view. Old saying but immense learning


The Second article talks about Obama's Seven lessons for Radical Innovators. The article mentions 7 lessons for radical Innovators.

 Learning from that article: Maximize purpose of not only of doing incremental things but thinking of changing the world & uniting people to achieve the same. Check Seth Godin latest book Tribe which talks about building tribes of people having a common purpose and starting a revolution. I think in the coming years innovators/companies will have to unite people toward a common purpose with the aim to have a revolution.

Third Article is by Heather Fraser (Rotman professor) who talks about her experience while she was in India(& visited Welingkar). Heather ponits out some of the Business Design principles that everyone should consider like Practising Rule of 10%, having broader platforms for collaboration, Technology as infrastructure, Mobilizing the masses & Rethinking the model. I noticed here the focus on challenging. She mentions that instead of thinking of devising models to pay unemployed we should devise models which will employ the unemployed. For e.g.: like a model of Dabbawallas.

As design thinkers/innovators Challenge is very important. We need to challenge the status quo inorder to innovate.

So in the end three articles focusing on three important parameters of design thinking which are being Empathetic to user needs , having a purpose so that people can be become part of that purpose and Challenging the status quo.


link to articles