By all measureable accounts, US companies have fallen embarrassingly short in innovation as recorded in recent major industry studies – and this trend shows no signs of slowing. The problem isn’t that there aren’t innovative thinkers, it’s that there is such a systemic aversion to risk and such a plethora of corporate cultural disincentives, that anyone at all inclined to implement even the most incremental change is either quickly dismissed or worn down over time.
.As in-house designers struggling with corporate politics and bureaucracies, this probably comes as no surprise. They are the outliers, the inherently innovative individuals who, if afforded the right opportunities and training, could become a driving force of creative momentum in their companies.
With practically every product and service being commoditized as a result of our ever improving and evolving technologies, corporations would do well to tap into the innovative potential the designers working in their midst have to offer. Well designed artifacts and the application of design thinking to corporate structures, business models and processes and procedures are differentiators that will determine which companies will survive and which will fail.