Management by empathy - learning with experience design

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Management by Empathy Learning with Experience Design Matthias Müller, MSc Director, Mensch Design Innovation GmbH Mythenstrasse 58, CH-8400 Winterthur, +41 79 570 09 64

Experience based paper for “Management makes the world go round. Learning for the future in management and organizations” Conference M/O/T Management School, 2010, Vienna


Abstract For decades, companies have declared customer orientation to be their uppermost goal. What is the key to customer orientation today? How does it work in companies like Apple, Nespresso (Nestlé) or Patagonia for example, who are particularly successful in their markets? The answer is that these companies have moved on from selling “naked” products and services to delivering experiences that are full of value. Their value proposition is not limited to the features of their product but covers all interactions with the customer, incorporating customer needs and the promise of the brand: The customer gets to be a long-term partner in a partnership that is not only defined by economic or emotional benefits but by a value the customers perceive as meaningful for their lifestyle, for their life. Sustainability is achieved by satisfying needs that originate in the customers' beliefs and values. Experience Design provides the mindset and the tools enabling companies to offer these meaningful experiences. Our concept of Experience Design is based on four skills: explore the customer, prototype your offer, reframe your strategy, use the energy of the team. The underlying competence to these is empathy: the urge to understand, compassion for the need of the customer, the need of employees and the need of society. Empathy is the one basic competence needed to create sustainable value in the economy of the future.

Introduction: looking behind the terms “Experience” When was your last delightful experience? Was it a bike tour in the sunset, an intensive workshop at work or a particularly friendly service in a shoe store? What constitutes such an experience? What makes you say, yes, that was delightful, that was great? When would you say that was meaningful for my life? “Design” Is design just pretty decoration or is it the real thing – or maybe both, or neither? Three answers:


“Design is the fundamental soul of all man-made creations ... It is all about the effect. To come up with a truly good design for something you have to fully understand it." Steve Jobs (Hirstein, 2010) “For me, designing is a mentality, a way of observing, intuitively understanding by continuously questioning.”

Gijs Bakker (2010)

“Design must be meaningful. And 'meaningful' replaces the semantically loaded noise of such expressions as 'beautiful„, 'ugly', 'cool', 'cute', 'disgusting', 'realistic', 'obscure', 'abstract', and 'nice ...”

Victor Papanek (1971)

“Empathy” New literature sees empathy as the driving force of civilization (Rifkin, 2010): Cooperation based on empathy is declared superior to confrontation. One could try to refute this argument with Darwin. But careful: Darwin's concept of survival of the fittest is often misunderstood. To be fit means to be able to adapt. The strongest is the one who adapts best – and this is where empathy comes in, the competence to act and react with compassion. This is what Tonya M. Peck, Senior Program Manager in the Microsoft Corporation, asks from designers and managers (2010): “We must be different by demonstrating compassion, curiosity, openness, a comfort with ambiguity, and an unconditional positive regard for our experiences with one another.”

1. The challenge: the future is here A participant at an Experience Design Management training sums it up neatly: "In the future, it won't be my boss who decides but the customers and the market." This statement summarizes what management and organizations are faced with in the future. A future that has already arrived for customers. Taking place is what Charles Bezerra (2010) calls the “transference of guilt”. A customer who had a problem with a product or a service used to think he himself was to blame. Today, he would see the company as the “guilty” part if something didn't work as expected – and expectations are rising. Customers simply refuse to get frustrated.


This "customer emancipation" has global repercussions. Customers post videos on YouTube or discuss and rate companies in comments and blogs: 70% of all bloggers in the U.S. write about products and brands (emarketer, 2009). And this is only the beginning of a movement heading towards co-creation. More and more, companies try to directly include their customers' knowledge in their product and service development processes (, and to profit from the “wisdom of the crowds” (Surowiecki, 2004). What does this development mean for the management and the company of tomorrow? The customer cannot know the actual capacity of a company and what solutions would be technically feasible. A quote that is attributed to Henry Ford puts it plainly (Christensen, 2007): “If I‟d asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a better horse.” Ford was able to identify his customers' needs and had the knowledge and the skills to work out a disruptive solution to satisfy them. It is still crucial for companies to have that knowledge about the feasibility of solutions plus an intuitive feeling for coming technological innovations. However, not every innovation or improvement is conceptually sound and accepted by the market. Telecom companies for example still employ thousand of staff and call agents just for dealing with customer complaints and fixing faults (often without developing the instruments which make the company learn from this rich source). And when top-notch companies are affected –

those maybe especially so –

launching an innovation that proves defective, like the aerial of the iPhone 4 from Apple (Ionescu, 2010), the high expectations for innovation become apparent. “Innovation isn„t what innovators do, it‟s what customers and clients adopt!” (Schrage, 2010)

2. The answer: Experience Design With the introduction of the terms “Experience Design”, “design thinking” and “customer-driven innovation”, the discussion about the purpose of companies (and thus management) has shifted. Companies now need to create “value” and “meaningful experiences”. But why? Rodney Fitch explains it best: “Only one company can be the cheapest, the others have to use design” (Egan, 2010). Design is presented as the skill that allows companies to develop product and service


experiences that do need not to be low-cost. The point is not the naked product or service performance but the creation of a holistic experience, perceived by the customer









(Shedroff/Rhea/Diller, 2008).

The term Experience Design has not yet been formally defined. It develops in a dialogue between economy and science. An important benchmark was set by Nathan Shedroff in 2001 with his publication “Experience Design 1”. An important overview is edited by Thomas Lockwood: “DesignThinking” (2010). Among other things, it describes the shift in meaning of the term design over time, away from product design to an approach whereby design is primarily a communication process. Design as an interdisciplinary creator of solutions has been highlighted by institutions such as the British Design Council or the Design Management Institute in Boston for over 30 years. Kimbell (2010) explains Experience Design with the toaster principle: Before, designers, managers and companies would work on designing individual products and services and bring them to market – for example a toaster. Today, the challenge consists in realizing entire toaster projects. And it is essential to understand the physical environment of a toaster and all social interactions around it to be able to create a solution with added value. Design in the sense of “beautifying objects” is history. Schrage (2010) offers a similar argument: “Great designers facilitate great interactions around great design(s).” Great communication (and not great forms) is the key to a great solution . These hypotheses, focusing on thinking in systems and the power of the communication process, are the basis of our approach. The core skills in our definition of designful management are: Explore your customer – basic competence: empathy Prototype your offer – basic competence: iterative creation Reframe your strategy – basic competence: think in new frames Use the energy of the team – basic competence: theme-focused teamwork


What does the management need to learn for the future? 1. The skills and tools of Experience Design. 2. The mindset and the relevant actions which help creating the “experience oriented� company. This paper primarily focuses on the first part of the answer. We will illustrate the four skills with practical examples and introduce the key tools.

3. Explore your customer Practical example: At an innovation workshop in the telecom industry, a team of six participants from different departments analyzed the needs of older customers. At first, it seemed their needs were strongly connected with their financial status and their educational background. In a first phase of storytelling no common denominator could be found and no possible innovation story


created. Then, after a first brain storming and a further storytelling, new perspectives emerged. A deciding factor was that there were two fathers on the team. From observations of interior arrangements (incl. the displaying of family pictures) and random remarks during the interviews, the team derived that the customers' affection for their grandchildren and their joy in seeing them grow up was their common denominator. The team of developers then correlated this insight with the information of the two fathers that a child's first mobile phone was a kind of initiation ritual into the grown-up world, and as a result they created the “Cell Phone Bus”. The grandparents could visit and explore it together with their grandchildren, be presented with information on benefits and risks of cell phones and also buy a first cell phone if they wished. In a first feedback round, the reaction of the visited customers was very positive and in tune with the ideas of the development team. The project, however, was not implemented. More on that later.

Visiting customers in their own environment The team in the example above opted for the most obvious way of exploring the customer, i.e. a personal visit at home. Four basic aspects need to be considered: a) There should be two or three visitors, not fewer and not more. One or two visitors analyze the customer's environment and observe his/her non-verbal communication. b) A question/hypothesis is brought along to be answered by customer research. c) The interview follows an outline, starting out in a light conversational manner, touching the research topics without focusing on them. Towards the end, opinions are asked and behavior directly observed (if the product in question is a lifting jack for example, it makes sense to observe the customer using the current product version). d) The visits are evaluated through storytelling, i.e. in a narrative method. Customer research and storytelling combined constitute the “deep dive”.


Hypothesis about customer needs

Deep dive

New Hypothesis Evaluation of hypothesis


Customer research


Customer research and storytelling are further possibilities to gain information on customer needs. They include:  The use of personas to constantly test decisions in developing processes against virtual customer profiles  Role-play, applied to make knowledge about customer needs relevant in the company  Become your own customer and experience the interaction with your own company  Mystery shopping at the competition  Touchpoint observation at points of sale, in call centers or with the field force  Customer panels for customers to exchange ideas and opinions

Storytelling The tool of storytelling originates in the narrative method of psychotherapy and the concept of “narrative empathy”. The observers evaluate their observations in form of an narration. This narration presents the customer and – implicitly – the viewpoint of the observer. It offers the opportunity to reflect one's own perception. So, functioning as a mirror of the observed, the narration combines and integrates different information levels such as direct statements, assumed hidden needs, physical environment, forms of behavior.


We use a three-level storytelling method which bases on the iceberg model by Virginia Satir (Caflisch, Behavior is the tip of the iceberg (level 1), the coping attitude of the person is the water line (level 2), values, vision and yearning are below the water (level 3).

Level 1: words, behavior

Level 2: declared needs, thoughts

Level 3: hidden needs, emotions

It is helpful to visually illustrate this three-level story with drawings and symbols to avert any pseudo-analytical thought processes. The stories about customers are brought together and narrated. With comments and questions, the listeners point out missing aspects and test the frame of interpretation the group worked out in the deep dive. In our example with the “Cell Phone Bus�, the experience was not the explicit wish of the customers. It was a hidden need that could be successfully determined by consolidating customer analysis with the experience of the storytelling narrator – in an emphatic process.


The “empathy map” by Osterwalder/Pigneur (2010) presents a more structured form of storytelling. It highlights these six aspects: hear, think and feel, see, say and do, pain, gain. They are not as highly integrated as in the three-level storytelling, but they also base on the hypothesis that there is a difference between what is said and what is felt. Meaning that there are relevant aspects and needs that are not articulated by the customer in an interview and can only be determined in a multidimensional evaluation process.

“Empathy map” by Osterwalder/Pigneur: Business Model Generation, 2010.

4. Prototype your offer Practical example: A group of freelance business consultants were fascinated by the insights in Surowiecki's “Wisdom of the Crowds”. They discussed the effects it would have on their work if customers were turning into co-creators. What will the business consultant's job look like if the customer becomes the consultant of businesses? The


group agreed that understanding the customer will be the core skill, correlating customer responses with business resources. The group developed a prototype of a public innovation platform for customers to comment on products and express suggestions – which were then evaluated by experts in a specific storytelling. The project was financed through advertising. In a structured feedback using role-play, the consultants learned that only few businesses today would want their innovation plans to be public and welcome a discussion of their plans at a preliminary stage. As a second prototype, the consultants therefore developed a purely internal tool, for company staff only. Individual interviews with company representatives, however, revealed a wish to know more about customers and to involve them in the innovation processes. So the consultants developed a third prototype, a platform that can be used internally and/or by invited external “employees”, depending on the topic.

The example highlights the fast and efficient interacting between prototyping and structured feedback, which is key to Experience Design: the prototype as the hypothesis of the future and the structured feedback as the instrument of continuation and differentiation. Prototyping creates a new awareness regarding the development work in businesses. Solutions are no longer based on analysis, argumentation and the weighing of interests – which tended to drag out project meetings. Prototyping is based on an attitude introduced in solution-focused short-term therapy: to imagine a future state and immediately establish it. The standard iteration in the prototyping circle has four phases: setting up the design challenges or design briefs, designing/customer research, prototyping, validation and feedback.


Prototyping Circle 1st Iteration Start: Design Challenge

Validation Feedback

1 Prototype 1

Validation Feedback

Feedback/ Challenge 2


Customer Research/ Storytelling

Prototype 2


The first solution proposals are formulated in rapid iterative prototyping. Here, solutions are developed and assessed at a very fast rate (as in the example above). It is all about discovering opportunities, testing customer reactions and spotting any major implementation difficulties. The longer the prototyping process, the slower the iteration and the more important the securing of benefits for both customers and company. The team of consultants in our example developed their subsequent prototypes during the here described phase of discovering and testing. They worked with a specialized software company and in the process discovered further options to increase customer and company benefits.

Prototyping process

Securing the benefit growing activity

Diminishing activity

Discovering and testing options Rapid prototyping

Slow prototyping


Structured feedback The most important feedback on prototypes is customer feedback. Procedure is simple and it can be obtained spontaneously at a touchpoint, e.g. at a store, or in an already scheduled interview like in our first example. Usability consulting companies offer a wide range of options to validate solution proposals (Usecon, Useeds). As of recently, there are also online platforms ( to assess ideas and solutions with end customers.

Internal feedback is constructive too, if taken as creative input and obtained in a structured way. The founder of structured feedback is Edward de Bono. He criticized “logical analytical thinking” for being a medium to confirm thinking and for engaging thinking in a conflict about right and wrong (2009). With his “six thinking hats” (2010) he introduced an approach which ensures efficient continuous development of prototypes in the context of Experience Design. The feedback givers are assigned a certain position or part to give their feedback from. The shortest form of structured feedback is the “watering hole” (Carlson & Wilmot, 2006), offering the feedback givers just two positions to choose from.  Position A: In your view, what are the strong and indispensable features of this solution?  Position B: What needs improving with this solution? Do you have any suggestion as to how? Applied consistently, this method has the power to transform organizations. At a training week for Experience Design managers, three promising innovations were developed, but it was the watering hole that convinced the participants as the most meaningful achievement. They recognized the tool's positive effect. It triggers verbal exchanging of ideas that are unburdened by justifications and can instantly be put to use.

Further tools: customer journey, design principles There are two more tools to be briefly introduced. They both are key instruments in Experience Design. The customer journey embraces the customer's entire chain of experiences, from the initial contact with a product up to its replacement or termination. It is split up into the relevant interaction stages between customer and product.


The design principles are a strategy implementation tool. When a solution is realized, they help to synchronize the company's brand promise, the experience portfolio and the customer needs.

5. Reframe your strategy Practical example: The HR (human resources) department of a Swiss group realized that in their company, like in many other European companies, their staff was growing old faster than the general population. They also realized restructuring plans had a tendency to lay off older employees with the results of enormous costs for severance plans, a loss of knowledge and a weakened social cohesion in the company. The HR therefore decided to develop new concepts to stop the draining of older employees, primarily focusing on financial incentive systems. But the project faltered; there was no spark, no ideas came up. Opting for more creativity they hired an external consultant. In a first step, the consultant discussed the needs and resources of the older employees with the HR management and then let the management and the older employees develop personas together to determine what really makes older people tick. The hypothesis gradually emerged that financial instruments were not essential factors but that the primary need of the employees consisted in perceiving their professional life as fulfilled and meaningful. This hypothesis made the HR change their strategy, now focusing mainly on the employees' needs and defining them as the main resource in finding economically promising solutions. Moreover, the HR department did not position itself as a solution-generating supplier but as a platform for the older employees to take an active part in shaping their future. After two prototyping workshops, four projects were worked out and all got


management approval. Three of them were implemented by the respective employees within half a year.

How could project strategy and self-image of a department by shifted without a major change program? The department first needed to let go of their central assumption that financial status, once attained, was incontestable and therefore an indispensable factor in all staff policy. The department's management had the opportunity to learn, however, that sustainable and dynamic solutions can be found when the needs of the “customers” are taken into account and – in this specific case – when the skills of the target group can be used to generate a value for both themselves and the company. The strategy was achieved by in-depth customer analysis and by incorporating their energy for change. It is a fact that in many instances the strategic scope is too narrow to allow changes. In our first example of the cell phone bus (page 7), the brand was flexible enough but the shop strategy clearly did not allow additional sales channels and so the project fell through. Our experience shows that company staff (incl. the top management) have the skill to understand customer needs and to design valuable product or service experiences based on these insights. However, a kind of inner censorship kicks at an early stage, arguing like this: “That isn't our market”, “This isn't in our strategy and it's too much hassle to change it”, “Our brand doesn't allow this kind of customer approach” or “There isn't anybody in the company who could pull this through”. It would go beyond the scope of this paper to lay out how a customer-oriented strategy can be developed and implemented in full detail. But we would like to present the three basic conditions:  The strategic process and its reframing have to be continuous, meaning that management and staff have to consistently assess existing and emerging customer needs.  The brand has to be a key factor in strategy development. Its development should also entail the generating of emotional added value for customers (and staff) (Olins, 2006).  Innovation is to be understood and developed as a core process of the entire organization.


The following tool support the company in identifying the demand for the reframing of a human-centered and value-oriented strategy development at an early stage.

Value proposition templates The value proposition is the engine of Experience Design and in many companies it is also the driving force of innovation. It is basically comparable to a business case, but unlike standard development projects it is not only factored in the middle of a project but it is the starting point of all activities. The value proposition defines customer and company benefits based on customer needs assessment, correlating the assessment with market conditions and internal resources. A widely known template is NABC by SRI (Carlson&Wilmot, 2006). Here, the proposition consists of four steps: N = what‟s the unmet customer‟s need, A = what‟s the approach, B = what‟s the benefit, C = what‟s the competition. In our example with the HR department, the strategy reframing originated in the in-depth analysis of the need (by means of dialogue, personas, feedback sessions). The department realized they had been focusing on the wrong need. Costar, the value proposition developed by Friedman, Gyorffy and Gyr EDG (Gyr, 2010), is more detailed than the NABC. The business case is divided into six elements:

Costar Customer

Who‟s the customer and his unmet need?


What‟s the opportunity on the market?


What‟s the solution?


What‟s the team, which can create the solution?


What‟s the advantage of the solution compared to internal and competitor‟s solutions?


What‟s the result? What are the benefits – for the customer and the company?

The value of this tool is its systemic nature. All Costar elements are interdependent. If the designer discovers that he could increase the advantage by slightly changing


the solution, the tool allows him to simultaneously check if the customer need is still addressed and if the change still translates into an opportunity on the market. Thinking in value propositions leads to strategically relevant questions:  Is the project in agreement with the existing strategy?  Will it generate such a benefit as to justify a strategy reframing? Or would a spin-off be a better idea?  Does the solution originate in wishful thinking that doesn't make any strategic sense? As with structured feedback, the consistent application of a template in setting up a value proposition can change a company substantially. The template provides the company with a new grammar of change and innovation – you could say it instills the drive to innovate. Both public or purely internal software applications involving value proposition thinking can greatly contribute to a consistent customer-focused strategy development. An examples is the program Qplus (2010). .

6. Use the energy of the team Practical example: At a conference for store managers in the telecommunications industry








Experience", the store managers were asked to define measures, based on their customer observation, for creating meaningful experiences for the customer, without changing neither branding nor store architecture. Only four weeks before, the company had announced the stores imminent merger of the separate business lines of mobile telephony and fixed network solutions. The head of the mobile phone stores invited the regional managers of the fixed network stores to the conference so they could get to know each other better. After setting up an insight gallery of customer assessments and customer needs, five groups worked out different solution proposals. Two groups then presented a program to improve the teamwork of the soon


to be merged stores and to attend to common customers even more efficiently. At the end of the conference, one of the store managers concluded it was important to remain level-headed and to include the staff at the stores in future discussions.

Why did this conference yield results that in many other merger situations could not even be achieved in extensive culture change programs? The theme-centered interaction model by Ruth C. Cohn (1975) sheds some light. Theme-centered interaction (TCI) is determined by four factors. At its core is a triangle consisting of the individual (Me), the group (We) and the theme (It). This triangle is embedded in a globe, representing the context, the world we live in.





According to Cohn, the theme-oriented group process is the most powerful when in balance. When the "Me" feels in good hands in the group and contributes to the developing of the "It" – when a common understanding emerges in the "We" and the "It" is experienced as relevant – when the development of the "It" is not influenced by hierarchical structures or personal dispositions. And when the process is perceived as a meaningful contribution to the "Globe". Obviously, that is exactly what happened at the store manager conference. Through the customer observation and the formulation of hypotheses on the hidden customer needs the teams experienced the defined theme as highly relevant, i.e. the group and each individual thought it beneficial to solve the task. And in tackling the task, a


group understanding developed that the "We" should also be addressed – the "We" of the store managers of the merging business lines. It was fascinating to see how the store managers at the end of the day did feel as a collective, i.e. had worked out a common perspective for the future. Their focusing on the major task of "What can I do










implementation energy that each individual perceived as relevant.

It is not easy to achieve all this in a design process since the creation of meaningful experiences for customers presupposes the cooperation between all disciplines throughout the whole process. In storytelling, IT and marketing, external sociologists and psychologists are just as involved in the detail definition of the customer journey as are strategy and shop management. Why this interdisciplinarity? 1. Our experience shows that only interdisciplinarity can ensure that relevant knowledge can be used in the relevant stages of the design processes. 2. Multidisciplinarity throughout the design process reduces the perception of complexity. The design team does not have to deal with new conceptions and requirements but learns to integrate right from the start. 3. When a design team perceives the complexity as manageable and has learned to integrate the different perspectives in the team in the creation of an "It", the implementation energy increases as well. The integration of thinking causes an energizing of implementation. Or as in our example, it generates an energy perceived as so powerful that the need arises to put it into perspective. It is often helpful to include the function of a facilitator in the design process. His task is that of a social designer. He checks the balance of It – Me – We so that the best possible solution for both customers and company can be worked out in the design process. Tim Brown puts into words what sometimes causes a dilemma in practice (2009): “Design thinking is the opposite of group thinking but paradoxically it takes place in groups.” Multidisciplinarity, the addressing of hidden customer needs and the set goal to devise fast, meaningful solutions through prototyping can prove too challenging, even for management teams. That is why we recommend bringing a facilitator into play on a case-by-case basis.


7. Skill versus process The skills and their tools presented do not constitute a process. There is no fixed sequence (except for the innovation process, where the skills “prototype your offer” has to follow “explore your customer”). These are skills companies should acquire to be able to design meaningful experiences for customers in the future. The management should acquire them and let them further develop in the company. These skills teach to distinguish. Am I the cheapest supplier or do I need design? Do I know my customers' needs or only the technical possibilities? Does it make more sense to argue or to co-create? Does a proposal need feedback or a decision? Processes remain the communication channels in a company, possibly yielding the best result, depending on the task, and helping to plan the use of resources. The four skills presented here are applicable in many processes, from the purely internal provisioning, strategy or project process to the process describing a company's interaction with the world. These four skills advance customary processes and enhance them with a better understanding of the customer and a more efficient devising of solutions. “Use the energy of the team” is a skill which nourishes all the others. Multidisciplinary communication is mandatory to explore the full potential of the other skills. Whereas “explore your customer”, “prototype your offer” and “reframe your strategy” provide content, “use the energy of the team” designs the social process – which makes us return to Schrage‟s quote about the ability of designers to “facilitate great interaction.”

8. Conclusion: the crux of the matter In our opinion, a gap exists between the behavior of management today and the behavior of customers. The management analyses markets and manufacturing conditions to enable themselves to supply the market with products and services at a profitable margin. The company's role is that of an efficient engine to achieve these objectives. Customers today express themselves on a global scale and demand product and service experiences that are full of value, consistently raising their expectations within the five levels of value: economic, functional, emotional, status/identity and


meaning (Rhea, 2010). Customers understand the company or brand as their partner, who helps them to live a simpler, better or richer life.

Levels of value Meaning Hard to substitute is it essential, full of meaning Status does it reflect my ambition Emotional do I like it Functional does it work Economic: what‘s the price

Easy to substitute

The customer is still an unexplored field. Truly discovering it requires empathy from the management and the skill to relinquish the old beliefs and move on to the realm of experimenting. Here holistic thinking is applied to create value for customers and companies by way of designing experiences. This is what we call Experience Design. The management will have to let go of the idea that experimenting is transitional. To experiment will mean to do business.

Future challenges: individualized usage, cradle to cradle, social design 1. The obvious challenge for companies will be to perform the balancing act between standardized production and individualized usage, or perceived individualized usage. The solution will be to synchronize the processes of usage and production in a uniform and holistic way. Experience Design will need to describe closely interwoven production and usage cycles. It might lead to a fusion of the production and usage process.


2. Listening to exacting customers reveals the second challenge. Their need is to no longer exploit the environment but to apply sustainable methods. This need is also fed by “design” catastrophes threatening the existence of global companies and business models, such as BP's “accident” in the Gulf of Mexico or the recalls issued by Toyota. Experience Design will be creating values of sustainability and environmental care. According to the cradle-tocradle principle by Braungart/McDonough (2002) in future, designs will have to incorporate the degradation of pollutants, the option of “upcycling” (refinement by recycling) and avoid “waste”. In eco-efficiency, terms like waste disposal and dumping are history. “Cradle to cradle” thus replaces “cradle to grave” and could become the dominant design principle in the near future. 3. More and more, social design and business design will blend into one another. Customers are citizens. They have learned to engage themselves in order to improve their physical environment and society because they are part of it, because it belongs to them (actual example is the protest against Stuttgart 21, 2010). Business will be confronted with this attitude and it will have to satisfy the need of active participation. If companies do not offer this function they will simply be passed by (Randall, 2010). In a paper written for a conference in Vienna, it is fitting to conclude with the words of a designer who was from the Danube city himself and who expressed thoughts which we let our minds experience only decades later: Victor Papanek (1973): “In an environment that is screwed up visually, physically, and chemically, the best and simplest thing that architects, industrial designers, planners, etc., could do for humanity would be to stop working entirely. In all pollution, designers are implicated at least partially. But in this book [“Design for the Real World”] I take a more affirmative view: It seems to me that we can go beyond not working at all, and work positively. Design can and must become a way in which young people can participate in changing society. As socially and morally involved designers, we must address ourselves to the needs of a world with its back to the wall, while the hands on the clock point perpetually to one minute before twelve.” It is our standpoint that it is the task of the management and their organizations to become such “socially and morally involved designers”.


Many Thanks for inspiring and challenging: Marlies Lenglachner Nina Maria Wieser Karin Hilzinger Lisa Friedman Herman Gyr Ulrich Sieker

References Books Braungart, Michael / McDonough, William: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, Random House, 2009. Brown, Tim: Change by Design, HarperBusiness, 2009. Carlson, Curtis R. / Wilmot, William W.: Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Making What Customers Want, Crown Business, 2006. Cohn, Ruth C.: Von der Psychoanalyse zur themenzentrierten Interaktion, KlettCotta, 2009. De Bono, Edward: Six Thinking Hats, Penguin, 2010. Diller, Steve / Shedroff, Nathan / Rhea, Darrel: Making Meaning, New Riders Publ, 2008. Lockwood, Thomas (editor): Design Thinking, Integration Innovation, Customer Experience and Brand Value, Allworth Press, 2009. Martin, Roger: Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage, Mcgraw Hill Professional, 2009. Osterwalder, Alexander / Pingeur, Yves: Business Model Generation, John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Papanek, Victor: Design f端r die reale Welt, Springer, 2008. Rifkin, Jeremy: Die empathische Zivilisation, Campus, 2010. Shedroff, Nathan: Experience Design 1, New Riders, 2001.


Surowiecki, James: The Wisdom of the Crowds, Anchor, 2005.

Articles, websites, presentations Bezerra, Charles: Divers of Complexities, 8/9/2010, presentation held at “Transforming Design. Design/Management Europe 14”, London. Bakker, Gijs, 2010, link: Caflisch, Nora (Noni): An Application of Satir's Systematic Brief Therapy, link: Christensen, Clayton: “Built for




De Bono Edward: Wir denken, um die Wahrheit zu beweisen, article in brand eins, 11/2009. Egan, John: Corporate Design Foundation, link: sir_john_egan_on_design.html. eMarketer: Bloggers and (Personal) Brand-Building, November 6 2009. link: Gyr, Herman: Silicon Valley‟s Simple Secret – A Shared Discipline of Innovation, presentation held at EPFL Lausanne, 9/2010. Hirstein, Andreas: Da wäre noch eine Kleinigkeit, article in NZZ am Sonntag, 24/01/2010. Ionescu, Daniel: Apple Responds to iPhone 4 Antenna Problem, 25/6/2010, link: em.html Kimbell, Lucy: From User-centred Design to Designing for Service, 8/9/2010, presentation held at “Transforming Design. Design/Managememnt Europe 14”, London. Olins, Wally: “Getting emotional with . . .”, 2006. link: link: crowdsourcing-examples/

Peck, Tonya M.: Integrative Thinking, Feeling and Being, 9/2010,


Q+, Enterprise Development Group, link: df


Randall, Stephen: The Social Web and your Business‟s Five-year Survival Rate, article in Design Management Institute Review, volume 21, number 1, 2010. Rhea, Darrel: Design Research and the Customer-driven Innovation Strategy, presentation held at 6/9/2010, Designcouncil UK, London. Schrage, Michael: Experimenting with “Design Transformation”, 8/9/2010, presentation held at “Transforming Design. Design/Management Europe 14”, London. Stuttgart 21, Website of the protesters, link:


Matthias Müller, MSc. Born 1961, Switzerland Founder and director of Mensch Design Innovation Gmbh, Innovation Training and Organizational Consulting

Education Design Management in Berne (Swisscom internal) and Design Management Institute, Boston Master of Science in Organizational Development, University Klagenfurt Teacher for German, French, History: University Zurich, Lausanne Work Internal facilitator and educator for design management (Swisscom AG) Internal advisor for organizational development (Swisscom AG) Courses in creative writing Online portal management ( Head of newspaper arts department (St. Galler Tagblatt) Music critic Journalist Trainer for social workers Social engagement: co- direction of a youth club, president of Kammerchor Winterthur, cofounder of community centre Bahnhof-Toess, facilitator in the project „city development of Toess“ Further education Mediation Large group interventions Theme focused interaction (Cohn) Icelandic: culture and language Publications Articles, interviews and short stories in newspapers, magazines Children‘s book „Yoko taucht“

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