Friday, March 4, 2011
Are we set up ourselves right for cultivating and integrating disruptive ideas? The complexity is that it is hard to make good ideas survive to all the way through product release because the constant battle between alignments with the existing product and the need of reinventing. (There is fine line between crazy idea vs. break-through idea)
Then, how can we create process, team and culture that help design can drive break-through products? We should consciously try different models to how it cultivates the culture and process in a way that can balance alignment and disruptive ideas.
Integrated Design process
Team setup that is sustainable and actionable
The team needs to be structured in a way it cultivates out-of-box thinking. There are many conscious experiments among various teams and companies. A good example is Google’s 20% personal work model. (Doing this within design team might be challenging considering Enric’s article on the designer ratio below)In contrast, Apple takes very top-down approach on this. I’ve seen also many cases that there are setups which separates incubation and product team. Brining outside perspective by partnering with consulting firms is a common example. All has pros and cons in terms of sustainability and alignment to existing portfolio.
Culture that cultivates out of box thinking and constantly integrate
Team needs to realize there is different approach to come up with ideas. It may seems to be some crazy, “out-there” ideas, but the culture needs to support where there are coming from and how we can integrated it smartly without being irrelevant. (Balance between discovery culture vs. synthesis culture) It can’t live one or the other. The reason why there are many failures in incubation teams and big projects with consulting firms are there wasn’t enough effort or set up for integration. If we focus too much about integration and existing portfolio, it becomes Borders example that couldn’t adopt the e-book era and reinvent themselves.
How can we change in a way that it makes sense for the product and the existing team? Is there any good examples that other companies are trying? Who are the great partners for this thinking? I have still a lot of questions that I want to update on future entry.
p.s. Thanks for albertS for food for thought.