Strategic Design Thinking- Revision

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Introduction

Strategic design thinking is a business concept that is varied in definition. A holistic view of strategic design thinking is a human centered thinking that enhances life by way creating experiences that are pro its beneficiaries. These experiences vary from products, software, processes, policies and also performances. For one to create an emotional and meaningful experience to the stakeholders, one needs to be empathetic and creative to the idea of enriching life.

Through the years, the idea of strategic design has advanced in order to embrace the concepts of development and innovation that are strategic in form. That is, the design and the methods that are applied are creative and encourage a sense of innovativeness. Though the thinking is user centered, it does not come as a right away solution but in essence, the end results are not predetermined.

Strategic thinking views the end result as one that is user oriented, technologically feasible and audience reach ability, without forgetting the aspect of having a design that is economically sound.

Formula one which is also referred to as Formula 1 or F1 is a sport of auto racing which consists of a series of races called the Grand Prix which are specifically built circuits and also other races in public city streets. The Grand Prix races are in many cities of the America and Europe. Formula one race attracts a great global audience of more than five hundred million and therefore provides a platform for investments of different merchandise.

This paper seeks to analyze the use of strategic design thinking in creating a human centered design that will introduce emotion and a meaningful experience to the viewers of the Formula One races. In view of Formula one as an entertainment industry, I shall consider three concepts namely, audience, business and technology in the innovation of a strategic design.

Background Information

Formula One sports series came into being in 1920s and 1930s. Over the years the auto racing series have undergone tremendous changes in the rules of the game, the technological make up of the racing cars, qualification criteria for the drivers and the audience pull.

Currently, the cars race at a very high speed of up to 360km per hour with an engine of 18000 rpm. This has been made possible by the electronics, aerodynamics, suspension and tyres put in place specifically for the race.

Many stakeholders are involved in the Formula One race ranging from manufacturers, constructors, drivers and the entertainment industry.

“Change” Marketing Strategy for Formula 1

I came across this quote by W.Edwards Deming, the American Management Consultant widely credited with the rescue and then renaissance of Japanese industry at the end of World War II and the Father of ‘Total Quality Management’ (TQM) – It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.” 

It struck me that recessions such as the current one, whilst enormously disruptive and distressing, are perhaps part of the natural order of things. Benjamin Franklin once said that there were only two things in life you could be certain of Death and Taxes, maybe there are three, death, Taxes and CHANGE. Upsets such as recessions reset the industrial clock, it is kind of like the children’s game Snakes and Ladders, just when victory is in sight, someone shifts the goalpost and we are right back where we started.  This levelling of the field represents a chance for those mistakes of the past to be forgotten and for businesses to re-appraise their entire marketing effort and the ways in which they engage with their customers and to think afresh.

Those readers who follow Formula 1 Racing will know what I mean, a car breaks free of the pack and gets a commanding lead, just then, through no fault of the Leader, an accident involving others cars elsewhere on the track occurs, the safety car comes out to slow the racing cars down and the leader’s hard won commanding lead disappears, suddenly everyone is back where they started and ‘weaker’ competitors have an unexpected chance of the lead. Let us regard this recession as our F1 ‘Safety Car’, if you WERE a leader in the past, good for you, they key now is not to bleat about the good old days but decide what you are going to do FROM TODAY that will keep you in first place when the racing starts again – it may need to be very different and a lot better than it was before the crash. 

If you are a follower, or even a back marker in the old race – all bets are off, this is your chance.  What are you going to do, starting today, that is different, exciting, compelling and unique in the way you engage with your customers and what will be the offer you make to them? It will not be the same as before the crash, for good or evil, those days are gone.  The safety car is in this lap, what will you do to take the lead?

Discussion

Design thinking has to very synthetic. That is, by creating human entities that bring out a unification of varied demands and requirements, there is an alignment and understanding of interdependences. My innovation plan for the Formula one sport seeks to unify different brands in the race to cater for the various audience represented. The strategic plan must also be abductive in the sense that it not only focuses on the present, but also what might be in the future. Inventive is the word that describes the designated group of members elected from stakeholders whose main job will be focusing on how to make the job more exciting in the future. Their innovative ideas are to be embraced to the sport in order to gain an even wider audience.

My design is also creative and critical in the fact that through the whole process of design there is a hypothesis developed and tested for that matter and a more sophisticated hypothesis emerges. The innovation is guided by questions such as “what if” and “if then” that are helpful in strategizing.

The design thinking is opportunistic in nature in that it looks at new possibilities generated from the hypothesis. There is a possibility of gaining an even wider audience by creation of a televised series that not only runs in Europe and America but to other parts of the world, where we get new opportunities of investors advertising their products. Television earns a lot for the stakeholders in this entertainment industry.

By the design taking a dialectical form, it means that new realities that are to satisfying the demands of the customer have to be put in place. Since Formula One is not a cheap event, the design has to be cost efficient and to view other innovative ways of generating income. The balance between constraint, contingency and possibility has to be found.

The value driven concept is fundamental in order to create an efficient design strategy. The design must reflect the values of the audience rather than of the company, in this case, Formula One. The invention of the children race would be a good idea of incorporating the audience in a feeling of identity with the Formula One series.

Conclusion

Strategic design thinking is a human centered thinking that enhances life by way creating experiences that are pro its beneficiaries. These experiences vary from products, software, processes, policies and also performances. For one to create an emotional and meaningful experience to the stakeholders, one needs to be empathetic and creative to the idea of enriching life.

In every aspect of business, innovation comes about when we believe that our present path will ultimately lead us to a better tomorrow. We need a concept of thinking that is strategic in designing a better future that is more productive.

Benjamin Franklin once said that there were only two things in life you could be certain of Death and Taxes, maybe there are three, death, Taxes and CHANGE. Upsets such as recessions reset the industrial clock, it is kind of like the children’s game Snakes and Ladders, just when victory is in sight, someone shifts the goalpost and we are right back where we started. 

References

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Davidow, w. & Uttal, B. (1989) Total Customer Service New York: Harper Perennial Books

David, F. (2009) Strategic Management Concepts and Cases (15th ed.) New Jersey: Prentice Hall

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Dobson, P. , Starkey, K. & Richards J (2004). Strategic Management: Issues and Cases. (3rd ed.) London: Blackwell

Hitt, M.A, (2002) Strategic Entrepreneurship London: Blackwell

Hitt M.A, Freeman R.D & Harrison J.S (2002) The Blackwell Handbook of Strategic Management (2nd ed.)London: Blackwell

Juran, J.M. (1992) Juran on Quality, New York: Free Press

Kelly, L. , Booth C.A (2004) Dictionary of Strategy: Strategic Management A-Z London: Sage

Peters, T. and Waterman, R. (1982) In Search of Excellence, New York: HarperCollins

“Discovering What Makes Formula One, Formula One – For Dummies”. Retrieved on July 6 2007 from HYPERLINK “http://www/dummies.com.html”http://www/dummies.com.html

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