GE CMO sheds her view on Design Thinking


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In a rare interview, GE’s SVP and Chief Marketing Officer Beth Comstock talks to Behance’s Scott Belsky about what it takes to keep great ideas alive in a big company. Offering essential insights for creative leaders, the conversation touches on the power of passion and storytelling in getting ideas off the ground, why we should make heroes out of failures, and the challenges of driving change amidst bureaucracy.

Beth Comstock: Make Heroes Out of the Failures from 99% on Vimeo.

As I end the week and ready for next weeks series of Blog posts, you will find this interview quite timely. Her discussion is quite interesting when viewed on the future of Design in business and how we look at value, a step removed from the customer. I do not think organizations are expecting designers to design business models but with the acceptance of the Business Model Generation Template by Alex Osterwalder it is becoming quite clear that it may be something to consider.

Thoughts from this conversation: Every organization says that they are customer centric but few are. They are still selling features and benefits. As the next stage of development into user-centric organizations takes place, it will take quite a jump for organizations to bridge that gap. If they think they had trouble at customer centric levels, look out. When organizations start shifting that direction the Business Savvy Designer will have a great opportunity. It is already being seen and driven not only the BMGen Template but the understanding that the supply chain has shifted to favor the customer. We live in a world of excess supply and the value in use concepts are becoming ever more the driver of design and business.

The host of the program, Scott Belsky is the founder of Behance and author of the book, Making Ideas Happen. This next week when I discuss Standard Work for Lean Sales and Marketing teams, you will see how it has influenced my thoughts about project management. The methodology is based on boiling down projects to the most basic elements with an emphasis on action. The approach is called The Action Method. and is my task management planner of choice. It is extremely simple and highly intuitive for a single person and/or team. I use the paper, online and the app for my iPhone all in combination with very little of redundant work.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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