You can read it now and then, here and there. In a time like this where many industries are seriously affected by the economic recession there are two things to do. Either choose do downscale your business and lay of you personnel. Maintain investments and focus on efficiency and effectiveness of your organisation. Or take the opportunity to try and stay ahead of the pack when things are turning for the better. That will mean that investments in innovations. Both product of service innovations.
I’m a huge fan of Idris Mootee. He posted a must read article about the subject. Idris writes about DuPont who, in the 1930s, decided not to cut on R&D, but to invest more. Both neoprene and nylon where invented in that time. Both commercially highly successful materials.
I don’t think that in this economical crisis, R&D in products or materials will be the area where solutions (for the economic crisis) will be coming from. My prediction is that new services, both within (mobile) technology and outside, will help us all creating value for people.
Within our industry, I see a whole new generation of creative people waiting to start designing value adding solutions. We @31Volts meet more and more design students and young creative professionals with an ambition to start working outside the traditional design disciplines. This makes me very happy! Not that I think that designers are THE problem-solvers-of-all-your-problems, but they do have the creative- skills and approach to do so.
After reading Idris’s article I realise more than I did already that we not only need the designers working in new areas, but also a different kind of manager. Idris describes them as:
It’s pretty simply, whether it’s the young or mature, male or female, b-school trained or self-taught, it all comes down to three things: Foresight, Energy and Focus.
A bit of Richard Branson for all managers…