As our world changes, the challenges to business grow. Old ways of thinking are being replaced by open minds and creativity. Design is playing a central role in helping solve problems and drive the future. We invite you to see how design is shaping the new business.

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Turtlenecks in the Tropics; Embracing local needs through design thinking

Post by Florine Beukers published originally on the Fronteer Strategy blog

Design is changing the way we see and do business, or at least this is what the documentary ‘Design the New Business’ led me to believe. The screening of the movie was the world’s second, right here at the Singapore’sDesign Film Festival (presented by Anonymous). It showed that design thinking is more than post-its and black eyeglass frames and that in fact, there is a need of implementing design as a part of doing business.

The documentary argues the need for design thinking, derived from today’s modern, unpredictable and complex world. Traditional ways of doing business no longer provide satisfying outcomes. Instead, design thinking has become the tool to manage complexity and generate new solutions.

The fact that integrating design thinking into your business is a prerequisite in our modern  high competitive world makes it extremely relevant in emerging, rapidly developing markets. Markets recognized by economic growth, rising middle class, higher average education levels, and most important of all, markets as complex and unpredictable as anywhere else. Why do we still see a huge amount of traditional, old-school ways of doing business in these markets?

Here a good example of some old-fashioned push-marketing in Singapore. Singapore’s climate is recognized by it’s enormous humidity and high temperatures all year round with an average of 28 degrees Celsius. Why do we still see enormous billboards with models wearing winter sweaters. Not even mentioning that these models are not from Asia and blond. It seems that this company forgot to think what its customers are really looking for.

Constantly adjusting to new situations is what design thinking is all about. Therefore every company should adapt to local needs and embrace local challenges. Ofcourse there are examples of organizations in rapidly developing markets that are taking the path towards integrating design thinking within their business. One of them, is the Singaporean ministry of manpower, an organization where many can learn from. Their client process was optimized by co-creation, a process in which they involved their own clients making the process fulfilling with their needs. The result? It took me only five minutes to get my visum.




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