Want to be Innovative? Hire a Designer!

Brand + Business x Christine Moody*

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With the announcement this week by Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, on the government’s $1 billion innovation and science package has not only started the public discussion about the details of the package—especially the amount of money and where it is going to be spent—it has also started the discussion on ‘Innovation’.

Listening to one of the radio station’s talk back session today, reminded me of the fact that many people think innovation is about the next app or the next online offering. In fact innovation is quite simple and many Australian companies are constantly reinventing themselves, their products and services, and their business models every day. Successful companies build it into their organisation’s strategy. Successful companies know that you have to innovate to survive.

Successful companies know that you have to innovate to survive.

Successful companies also employ Designers and Design Specialists as part of their teams. In fact, they believe that innovation is only possible with a diverse team that includes those from business, technology, and design backgrounds. It is the combination of all three where the ‘magic’ of innovation happens. But we only really hear about the business and technology side of things—not about the Design aspect. Designers are an underutilised resource in the innovation space and the smart organisations will be the ones who start employing them to help their organisations create an innovative strategy. There are hundreds of Designers out there—especially being graduation week this week.

In fact yesterday I graduated with nearly 300 other Designers (my degree was Master of Design—Research). These newly-minted Designers represented graduates from all design disciplines including visual, interactive, fashion, architecture , interiors et al. These are the disciplines that make up the Creative Industries at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) which is now one of the most popular faculties within the university. And most students are combining their Creative Industries Degree with a Business Degree. These students are smart, articulate, and ready to go.

Designers think differently and can take complex problems, immerse themselves in it, and solve them in a way that business and technology students cannot. Designers simply see things differently and use visual language to solve the problem—vs a multi-page written report. They are often the ones that don’t settle for solutions that are just ‘okay’ and instead they only settle when they know it is time to settle on the solution—it is their gut feeling and the tingling sensation they feel when they know it is right—ask a Designer and they will tell you!

Designers simply see things differently

Study and research the successful and innovative companies—like I did for the last six years—and you will see what makes up the teams within these organisations such as BMW, P&G, and Apple et al. This is where the innovation happens and this is the time to ensure you have Designers as part of your team. Look out for them, you will find them everywhere if you care to look!

*Christine Moody is one of Australia’s leading brand strategists and the founder brand management consultancy, Brand Audits. With more than 30 years’ professional experience, Christine has helped a diverse client base of local and international brands, including Gold Coast City Council, Hilton Hotels, and Wrigleys USA, to develop, protect and achieve brand differentiation. Her particular interest is personal brand audits to assist executives realise their full potential.

For more information: chris.moody@brandaudits.com.au or +61 419 888 468.

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