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Design thinking in tech-driven corporation

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By Connie Harryman, Applied Concepts Creativity
Guest Blogger
Organizer IIR USA
LIVE Front End of Innovation Europe 2010

Speaker: Mauro Porcini, Head of Design Worldwide, Consumer & Office Business, 3M

Topic - The Business Perspective: Innovation by Design Thinking in a Tech-driven Corporation

Mauro Porcini recommends combining short term projects with your long term vision. He speaks about the meaning of design for 3M.

Currently our perception of beauty is distorted. He demonstrates this by showing us a video of a young woman, who is having her face made up with different types of makeup as she is seemingly made beautiful. However, we must question whether this is truly a correct definition of beauty. He then contrasts this to the perception and message conveyed by the Dove commercials that emphasize a closer reality of the natural beauty of real women.

Design is in our mindset and in the process that leads to solutions. In the past it was about ideas, concept, feasibility, development, scale up launch, and post-launch.

This is 3M's Design Center Mission:

Foreseeing the evolution of socio-cultural models, leveraging and influencing 3M's technologies, brands and business strategies, in order to propose innovative, meaningful solutions that can create a unique fulfilling user experiences that can help our customers succeed and support the growth of 3M.

Interaction with the product can be emotional or intangible. Here are three interaction modes.

1. Visceral (Emotional/pulse purchase)
2. Interactive (Emotional satisfaction and loyalty)
3. Expressive Relation (user experience)

The new 3M involves technology, business, people and society with research, analysis and intuition. The new 3M approach considers new technologies; new business models, and uses new aesthetic language.

3M creates value through product design that considers people and how they are communicating with other people. For example consider how people communicate status. We wear a Rolex to communicate wealth and prestige.

3M's Design Center Mission uses 'lovemarks' as a technique. The goal is to command both respect and love. For example the Apple iPod is highly respected and loved.

3M Design Process considers the selection of inputs, the selection of outputs, and their interpretation. We must decide what is important and which product to launch. A design thinker is abductive and synthetic. It is about being in love, it is about surprise, it is about doing something people do not expect. The unexpected is a must. The design thinker is intuitive.

You do not need to be a designer to be a design thinker. He illustrates his point with a quote: 'The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.' Marcel Proust

Mauro Porcini concludes with this formula for a design strategy: Communication + (PR, Merchandising, packaging) + brand design + form + function = Relevant Experience.

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