Business Design: creating new modern day businesses

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In this post, Mariana Bradichansky talks about business design and how to create a 21st century business. Leading up to the Degree Show, she shares her perspective of the Nouveau Flâneur as an Innovation Manager.

There are many discourses surrounding the transformation of organisations for their survival in this complex era. Organisations have spent the past 20 years or more increasing their efficiency by driving down costs, scaling, and standardisation, as well as having rigid structures, rules and processes, and a pyramidal hierarchy of management. However, almost every organisation understands the need to contend with external forces by continually innovating. For their survival and growth, they may need to design new organisational structures, acquire new skills, and constantly adapt. The perfect Innovation Manager to do this is the Nouveau Flâneur, a specialist in the identification of new opportunities for innovation. Its role is essential for exploration and observation, by making unexpected connections that lead to the discovery of radical insights, new areas, and markets.

My research explores how the emerging discipline of Business Design can create a competitive advantage for companies, despite their size or type of business, and the way in which it can be implemented into the core business of these companies. It aims to understand how to (re)create new modern day businesses.

Successful organisations today finally understand the need to change and adapt to sustain innovation and growth, and are using a completely different operating model to achieve this. These companies are agile, lean, flexible, efficient, and effective. They are conscious of their culture, competition, customers, regulations, technology, and different forces of disruption.

Business Design is a methods-based approach to innovation that identifies and anticipates new business opportunities, and generates innovative and sustainable solutions. It develops businesses – including the design of the organisation, services, products and experiences at any stage of the business. It can be applied in a meaningful way with its proven methodologies, such as the three gears of business design, design thinking, lean startup, agile management, and so on. This helps organisations thrive and transforms them to be more responsive.
Business Design has utility and relevance in businesses today, and prepares organisations for the future. It can help organisations grow and gain a competitive advantage by applying these methodologies holistically in the organisation. With its different methodologies and tools, Business Design can be implemented in various companies – from small startups to large corporate organisations. It assists them not only in the design of the business (in the case of new startups), but in the transformation of transitional (medium) and large companies to find new opportunities for success.

They act as successful tech startups, embracing uncertainty and risk and accepting failure, expressed through constant experimentation and product iteration. The most important thing for these responsive organisations is their culture – working with very talented people to build and test their own ideas. They are purpose driven instead of profit driven, allowing them to concentrate on how to sustain and grow their businesses. They are absolutely comfortable with the unknown.

The main insight of my research is that these organisations are making important shifts. They prioritise purpose over profit, emergence over planning, empowerment over control, adaptability over efficiency, and even transparency over privacy. All this happens while they grow faster, satisfying more customers and having happier employees.

Finally, I believe Business Design is a discipline that will continue to evolve, as new tools and methodologies will be created to help organisations adapt to our rapid and changing world. The same applies to the Nouveau Flâneur, who will always continue exploring and asking questions, while wandering through different areas to continually adapt and grow as an Innovation Manager.

To learn more about the Nouveau Flâneur and Mariana’s research, stay tuned for the upcoming MAIM 2015 Degree Show, taking place at Central Saint Martins in the week starting on the 23rd of June.