My last few posts on the state of advermarketing have made me feel like I need a shower. ;-) So, I'm really looking forward to attending the IIT Institute of Design Research Conference happening in Chicago next Friday and Saturday.
Wait a minute—what the heck is design research anyways? OK, well let's take a look at how the folks at IIT are billing the conference:
"The linear business model is in question under the stresses of the current competitive landscape. If ‘business as usual’ embraces silos, roles, and hierarchy, what should ‘business by design’ be? The capability of user-centered research to solve wicked problems, deliver superior and differentiated offering, and win market share, continues to expand. Among corporations and business schools, people are beginning to understand the potential of design in research and across the organization, to develop strategies for addressing the nuances that differentiate markets from one another."
If you read between the lines, what this is saying is simply—"there is another way".
Designers approach problem solving a bit differently than the business world. Intuition plays a big part of it—much of what Dan Pink wrote in his book "A Whole New Mind" captures the spirit of how designers look to frame opportunities, define strategies and solve problems. Pink describe the process as "recognizing the patters" and "seeing the big picture" through "meta abilities" such as "systems thinking", "gestalt thinking" "holistic thinking", and in recent years—we have come to know it by another name:
Whatever we want to call it, this kind of ability is gaining traction outside of the design world—as is the demand for individuals and organizations who work this way. When I wrote my "are you a synthesizer?" post, a lot of folks picked it up —most likely because in their gut, they know there is something to this that needs further investigation and development.
Some of the speakers at the conference include Dan Saffer, Lou Rosenfield, and Alec Bernstein of BMW Group to name a few. I'll be doing some blogging about the event and most likely spitting out some pithy takeaways via Twitter. I hope to see some of you "marketers" at the event. Might be a nice change of pace.