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If you are managing a business today, then chances are high that you are working on strategies to adapt to an environment of relentless change.
Companies have re engineered their operational models for efficiency with an emphasis on supply, logistics and customer support. Procurement has assumed a decision making role where cost, more often than not, determines outcomes.
The Coles Supermarket jingle spruikes "Down, down, prices are down", but there is a danger that Coles might end up being the retailer who, like the narrow minded accountant, knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.
"The message should not be just about price", says an analyst quoted in the Australian Financial Review of 15 July. The article, by Sue Mitchell, goes on to say that Coles needs to tweak its marketing programs.
Comparing the Coles shrill price headline with Aldi’s engaging "smart way to shop" message, may be one reason why the Aldi brand is enjoying tribal loyalty with shoppers.
Cost cutting, consolidation and reducing budgets to a minimum will not value add for the future.
Companies that out perform their competitors often set out a plan that involves a collective understanding of the purpose of the organisation, motivating reasons to believe, expectations of how everyone is expected to act and the perceptions they wish to enjoy in the audience's mind. To bring the plan to life, they invest in brand strategies and creativity to strengthen relationships through empathetic brand messages that deepen the experience.
Knowing where the business is headed in the next 5-10 years and then communicating it can be facilitated with Design Thinking. This creates business value, because the discovery process that is fundamental to design thinking engages with the future.
Investing in innovation and creativity is essential to avoid irrelevance. Harnessing the power of the designer's mind to invent, reinvent or build a product or service can make all the difference.
These days the challenge for business is not just to scale cost efficiencies, but to scale imagination to create the new and the better.