Voxpop – What can designers bring to organisations?

Our recent guest blog from Sidekick Studios looks at the skills designers can bring to start-up companies. What do you think is the most important thing designers can bring to organisations?

Martin Grimer

‘It’s not brevity because I can’t pick just one… Curiosity – we have enquiring minds and challenge, well, everything. Imagination – by nature we’re lateral and free; we think in terms of how can we improve this? How can we reinvent it? Resilience – designers are used to seeing two thirds of their work go in the bin; we’re strong characters. Relentlessness – we don’t give up easily; we’re always searching for that magic that will make something, whatever it is, better. And fun.’

Martin Grimer, executive creative director, Aesop

Nicolas Roope

‘Businesses are built on concepts. Ideas structured to extract or create value in some way. These ideas, famously penned on napkins (although more likely Evernote theses days) are by their nature abstract and intellectual. “Design” takes a central role in the step from the intellectual to the manifest and when the process is working this isn’t a verbatim translation, it’s an active process that structures, orders, tunes the components into a compelling working system. Broad-minded designers with solid structural sensibilities are thus critical for success.’

Nicolas Roope, co-founder, Poke

Franco Bonadio

‘Start-ups are essentially about someone having a vision, spoting an opportunity and above all else for throwing themselves  into an all-consuming unknown beginning. Can a designer contribute to this? Can they adapt their natural creativity not just to obvious areas like branding but to say finance? Technology, business strategy,  manufacturing and marketing, human resources? If these subjects appear dull to the designer then start-ups would be better off without them. If, however a designer can translate their intuitive creative (and technical) ability to defining the vision while problem-solving the day-to-day, then absolutely companies should hire one.’ 

Franco Bonadio, executive creative director,  Identica

Anil Pillai

‘We pride ourselves on hiring people with a variety of different skillsets. This is what allows us to approach client challenges with a fresh perspective, and ultimately to come up with unique and effective solutions. Designers play a crucial role within our blended talent pool. We find that they have an infectious energy and freedom of thought that allows them to approach problems differently, often picking up on things that analytical brains may overlook. These unquantifiable contributions are crucial to conjuring up that little bit of magic.’

Anil Pillai, UK chief executive, LBi

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