Elite accreditation? Try alternative deals instead

I empathise with Michael Peters’ proposition for a system to differentiate those at the top of their game from the mediocre (Business Insight, DW 25 October). However, I don’t think that elitism or accreditation is the answer. It smacks of class judgement.

Accreditation and free pitching are issues that have been around for more than a decade.

Change is needed, but in the form of new business models to enable those with the strategic brains and creative prowess to be distinguishable from those who ply a more mainstream offer.

This is the reason that British Design Innovation has evolved into a collaborative innovation organisation that seeks to tear down the barriers between critical innovation disciplines, of which strategic design is just one.

If strategic consultancies wish to be recognised for their brains and creativity, coupled with knowledge gained from decades of experience, they need to join forces with industry and negotiate alternative and more equitable remuneration deals.

Design groups with the foresight to invest in their future, judged on their knowledge, strategic brains and creative prowess, can rise above the mediocre.

Straightforward fees for services are often all that is on offer to clients – but, that situation is changing. If strategic design consultancies really want a more equitable deal, they need to offer alternatives – fee plus income share deals. That will sort the top-flight thinkers from the mainstream. They do not need an elite accreditation process to do that – they just need a different mindset, confidence and better negotiation skills.

Maxine Horn, Chief executive, British Design Innovation, Brighton BN2 1RA

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