Test, measure, improve, repeat. The mind of an analytic focuses on the success of products and campaigns by evaluating performance of metrics, which are usually set with a goal to drive business value. Businesses must create value for themselves, and be clear on what measurements indicate the business' health or predict a business failure.
The creation of customer value, however, may be harder to measure. The voice of the customer is what most marketers and product managers use to validate their roadmap and vision, however the customer is just as unlikely to act - when forced to part with their own dollars - in the manner they say they will in a survey or focus group. Peer group pressure, aspirational self images, and word choice all intervene to make typical qualitatitve and quantitative customer research less predictive than a product designer would like.
Design thinking has emerged as a discipline for business leaders and not just designers from the creative department. It's meant to incorporate a broad view of customer and business value creation activities than business analytics or market research by including business process reinvention, ethnographic studies and the user journey (touchpoints your customer has with your company.)
In today's New York Times Business Section, Sara Beckman, Director of the Managment of Technology Program at Berkeley's Haas School highlights several case studies which support the notion that the most value is created for business when multiple schools of thinking are employed. "To survive, many businesses will have to figure out how to incorporate both approaches. Design thinking offers tools for exploring new markets and opportunities; Six Sigma skills can be applied to improve existing products. Companies that adhere strictly to one or the other risk failure. “The practices that make for success at one time can trap firms and contribute to their downfall at a later time,” says Bob Cole, a quality expert and professor emeritus at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley." Read full article here and share your thoughts.