There has never been a better time to talk about Design Leadership than now. Business houses or startups that have launched brands and products and managed to beat their competition, use disruption through design thinking. The business world is peppered with success stories that have achieved growth by being true to the spirit of this disruption. These include Apple, Tesla, the Nokia razor, Pepsi’s Naked Juice brand, and multiple clothing brands. Despite the scale of success these brands have achieved, design has been a somewhat nebulous area in the corporate corridors. Let’s take a closer look at the why’s and wherefores:
There are three levels of approach that business leaders follow:
The third approach mentioned above, unfortunately, is the most common and design gets restricted to its art. A direct fallout of this is constrained growth. To break away from this perspective, there are a few key aspects businesses should remember:
The final case is in the numbers itself. Mckinsey & Co. tracked the design practices of 300 publicly listed companies over a five-year period in multiple countries and industries.
According to Mckinsey in a study, the Top-quartile MDI scorers increased their revenues and total returns to shareholders (TRS) substantially faster than their industry counterparts did over a five-year period—32 % points higher revenue growth and 56% points higher TRS growth for the period. Forrester estimates the size of the global design industry to be $162 billion and believe multiple software categories used in design will grow more than 20% this year. Their recent global survey of design teams found that half expected to grow in 2021 and one-third expected to grow by more than 25%.
This shows that industries across the world are waking up to the need for design leadership globally. Unfortunately, whose who don’t will have a difficult time sustaining growth.
Author: Shubhra Bhargava, Vice President - Design @ExcalTech
Shubhra is the head of design for Excal Design. She is a branded-environments specialist with experience in design, CMS, User Interface, general management, brand and retail identities.
Some of the brands she has worked with in leadership positions include, Levi Strauss, United Colors of Benetton and Reliance Retail.