Today I had an epiphany. At the heart of our greatest companies is innovative design. Great companies create shared value with society. Great design leads to shared value.
To explain you’ll need to understand the concept of shared value. As Michael Porter explains it, shared value is developing products and services that not only benefit the company’s financial stakeholders, but that literally add value to society in some way. They solve real problems and are not just repackaging solutions or solving contrived needs. Think: energy management solutions and smart electric grid technology. The video clip below explains.
Now, what is design thinking. From the experts at IDEO:
“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” —Tim Brown, president and CEO
The needs of people. These people are your customers, clients, and users. They are also members of society. Their needs transcend the stated purpose of the product or service. Great design serves these unstated needs, the ones we didn’t know we had; the needs that impact our world and society. Great design creates shared value for the company and society. That’s what capitalism can be. How you run your company will determine if capitalism makes good on this promise.
From the documentary Objectified, by Gary Hustwit.