Uncertainty is affecting businesses and organisations around the world in complex ways. Even though there is constant uncertainty and change, it does not mean that growth is not possible. In fact, through our design accelerator programs, we have guided more than 50 businesses over the past two years into new markets, products, and services. The program’s collective impact has helped 50 + teams achieve five times their average user growth and delivered twice their normal revenue growth.
How are we able to help businesses thrive in these turbulent times?
Through teaching teams two new ways of seeing. The first is through seeing through their customer’s point of view for product development. And the second is by providing an outside point of view in the form of mentorship.
A Customer-Centric Point of View
Adopting a customer-centric way of seeing for product development is critical for developing solutions that will evolve with changing customer needs. When teams build products and services, they are often confined by what they have done before or current industry trends. This limits teams from pushing beyond what they are comfortable with into new thinking and possibilities. When working with complex problems, it is crucial to incorporate different ways of seeing to reveal fresh, innovative, and adaptable solutions in uncertain times. For businesses designing solutions for their customers, it is essential to see through their eyes and co-design solutions with them.
Fundamentally at its core, this is what being customer-centric is. A company’s future is tied to the relevance of the services and the value proposition they offer to its clients and customers. Design thinking methods and tools are great facilitators in learning about and designing solutions for their unique needs.
In our work with various industries and their audiences, we’ve learned that it’s essential to take design teams on a journey of discovery. This represents finding your audience’s needs, pain points, and aspirations.Through interviews and prototypes, the businesses learned about their audience’s behaviours to develop tailored offerings for each audience segment.
Learning to see through their customers’ and clients’ eyes allows teams to connect deeply with them and see the world from their point of view. This critical skill opens a new way of seeing and then a new way of thinking about problems. This powerful approach, paired with mentorship, allows teams to see their work in new ways that break open long-held beliefs and biases to create new possibilities.
The Important of Mentorship in design acceleration
The ability to support an individual or team with mentorship, provides insights based on the mentor’s experience and a fresh outside perspective. This external point of view helps teams identify and fix loopholes in their work or process.It also helps them to envision new opportunities that are not seen due to day-to-day occupations or prejudices. This prevents them from anticipating and avoiding potential problems.
Echos Design Manager Victor Lopes defines mentorship as learning by looking at things from different perspectives. Not only for the teams getting insights from an external point of view, but for the person acting as the mentor. He shares, “The process of helping teams and getting to know people from different backgrounds leads us on a learning journey. Understanding their challenges and using our knowledge to help them is a process that also educates us. It provides meaningful insights into our value, such as how to improve our work. In addition, it presents deep insights into our own character from the reflections that arise after each session.”
Leadership is crucial for mentorship to be truly impactful on a team and help it stay adaptable in volatile markets. Fundamentally leadership and mentorship are two sides of the same coin. To refine leadership skills, it is essential also to refine mentorship skills. This moves teams to embrace continuous improvement and co-create meaningful work that will push each other to grow. The value also transfers to leadership. When mentors support an individual or a group, they learn to refine their approach to strategy, solve problems and guide teams using inspiration. This leadership builds agile and healthy teams ready to work together as the world changes.
Our design accelerator programs help businesses and organizations design future-focused solutions for customers that deliver value in this changing world. The program is structured to guide teams through each step of the digital product development and launch process. At the end of a ten- or sixteen-week program, businesses will have a fully functional and ready-to-launch digital product and the knowledge of how to replicate this process in the future.
The accelerator focuses on three pillars to provide a framework for teams and companies. Learn to see your products and services develop in new ways:
Pillar 1: Product Development
Develop a stable customer base and refine your content strategy using various innovation methods.
Pillar 2. Growth & Marketing
Develop a greater connection with customers through greater visibility, business acumen and leadership.
Pillar 3: Finance & Investment
Grow a business to the next level by focusing on team building, sustainability, and financial viability.
We offer accelerators in the core areas of Phygital design, Design leadership, Design futures and Product Accelerators. Learn more about our design accelerator programs with the Google New Initiative supporting News and Media start-ups in India here or watch the video here. Or reach out to learn more about how design accelerator programs teach team to thrive in this changing world.