“Strategy & Design has a significant human impact, so being responsible and sustainable with application of strategy and design is important as much as prioritization of its impact in clients’ boardrooms." Pradipto Basu, Head of Digital Experience, shares a vision of the future of Strategy & Design with Edgard Beckand and Emar Vegt.
Mirabeau is part of Cognizant Digital Experience. We help clients rethink their business models by applying a human centric lens to unearth and consequently deliver value. “In today’s world individuals or enterprises cannot walk away from the human impact of engineering experiences, beyond commercial gain. The ethical and social aspects and outcomes have become increasingly important and consumers are more aware of this impact as human beings. This also means that there is no commercial success without prioritizing ethics and sustainability in designing experiences. When you talk about design, there is a shift from fast and innovative to sustainable”, says Pradipto Basu. Edgard Beckand, Experience Lead, Digital Experience adds, “Investors look more towards responsibility. In addition to desirability, viability and feasibility, we also include sustainability in our strategy development. ” Emar Vegt, Head of Strategy & Design Benelux emphasizes: “Clients ask us for help in realizing a solution for their problem. It's up to senior designers and strategists to not only create something, but also be the change agent that will challenge conservative thinking. How do we help customers shift their thinking from interfaces and features to offering valuable services? Such a shift always starts with understanding the people and the context involved, so that the right direction is chosen for the change, towards sustainable value."
The only way forward is the combination of human impact and data
Design in the BoardroomBasu: “Design is a topic that has increasingly established its place in the boardroom. In addition to business relevance, ethical principles, human impact and sustainability are building blocks for a suitable solution to an issue. Our role is to guide clients in this process by identifying and quantifying the value, and where the solution is not yet established. That is contrary to delivering against requirements and warrants a different attitude and approach. As technology and design join hands to enable value delivery, the third and important aspect is data. Today’s tech enables us to collect, process, and analyze data so that the human impact of Strategy & Design can be measured almost in real-time.” Beckand: “We take the boardroom by the hand. The question used to be more hierarchical: ‘Do you want to do this for me?’ The question now is, ‘How can I achieve this new goal?’ The strategy and design process is continuously fed by data analyses with which we steer towards the best strategic solution.” Vegt adds: “Data-informed decision making not only needs quantitative data (the ‘what’) but also combined qualitative data (the ‘why’) and the experts to interpret, make sense and imagine a future different from today. In this way, we can navigate with the boardroom from the fog of a few identified problem symptoms to the clarity of truly understanding the root cause, the solution direction, and the required steps to achieve the solution, in both business and social areas. Human-Centered Transformation is used to innovate companies in a way that leads to long-term success.”
Changing Engagement Model
“A kind of activism is actually required of the designer today; to challenge organizations to think differently aided by meaningful strategy and design led initiatives. We are always looking for senior designers who like working that way. You no longer simply do what your client asks, no, for today’s clients, it is about asking for input for transformational change from experts with a strategic design mindset. This approach serves a higher purpose,” says Pradipto Basu. Beckand: "You can really go further with responsibility if you can make it work commercially." Vegt: "Expect the designer to dig deep to understand the end user, the business interests and the broader perspective in society so well that they allow the team to make better decisions while developing a solution."
“Sustainability can no longer suffice as a story of good intentions. It is now an objective that must be embedded in an organization, and that is what clients of our customers want to see again. It is always about the sincere intention. With strategy development, we want to ensure that our customers can increasingly adjust their strategy independently. This ability is crucial in order to remain relevant in many areas in a time of rapid development,” emphasizes Edgard Beckand.
Emar Vegt adds: “If you can show the end-to-end costs and the actual benefits including societal, environmental and long-term impact then you show that you take responsibility in your design. The ethical intention thus becomes visible in the social domain and plays a role in decision-making. By adopting a test and learn approach, validation that a project is on the right track happens along the way, allowing for course corrections instead of only finding out at the very end. In addition, it creates the opportunity for the solution to incrementally be more accessible and inclusive to more people and to grow the positive impact on business and people. Global success simply depends on being aware of the impact on people and society, and making the right choices based on this awareness. Our experts do this in projects with customers, but we prefer to help anchor the mindset and skills in a company for a long time so they learn to do it themselves; rather than just do the design, in parallel set up a design team in an organization!”