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Nov 23, 2020

What is Business Design? How Does it Fit Within Innovation?


By Drew Welton

Founder - I help companies hire innovation executives.

‘Do I have to be able to draw?’


‘Do I need to redo my CV…

or do a portfolio?’


‘I’ve already done numerous innovation projects – does this count?’

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And so on.

The good news is that they have a lot of transferrable skills – many innovation processes utilised by commercial strategy houses are broadly analogous to those of companies such as Doblin, frog and IDEO.

A business designer, like an innovation consultant, would be expected to facilitate workshops, manage stakeholders, run ideation sessions, and test the validity of their solutions. Vast quantities of post-it notes will be involved.

 Business Designers won’t find themselves in this position as much as their straight-innovation peers – there is a far greater focus on keeping the end users in mind throughout the process, and the client will have purchased that methodology up front. 

Innovation consultants can certainly jump into business design, and vice versa. The difference lies in the way of building out the process.

Ultimately, in the words of Thomas Watson Jr, 2nd President of IBM, known as “the greatest capitalist in history”…

“Good design is good business.”

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