While the 4th edition of the Escales du Design (4th December 2014 in Talence - 33) is in full preparation, Isabelle Leblan, Head of the "Prospective Design" Department at Aquitaine Développement Innovation (ADI), explains how a strategic approach based on design can be a springboard for any type of company. "Design as a business accelerator! "For a company, an innovation project through design can become the spearhead of a new development strategy. Design is indeed a creative and methodical approach at the service of differentiation, diversification and foresight.
A light that could knock out a lot of misconceptions.
Three questions to Isabelle Leblan
Finally, what is Design?
ISABELLE LEBLAN Neither superficial nor artificial, on the contrary, design corresponds to a management and innovation approach at the heart of the company's strategic challenges. Innovating through design allows us to explore development opportunities by combining technological, industrial and market approaches... Design also means putting people at the centre of the approach, since in the end it is the uses and experience of users that will give value to technologies and make innovation a success.
Within the company, design intervenes at the crossroads of multiple functions: research and development, marketing, quality, production, trade. And it can be translated through many fields of applications and opportunities: offer, product, digital, brand, packaging, space and service. »
What can design bring to companies and can they all be involved?
IL : "Whatever the use, the design aims to become more competitive and to trigger orders. It is a differentiating factor to stand out from competitors' products, a diversification factor to invest in a new market, and a forward-looking factor to anticipate needs. In this sense, all types of companies are concerned: small, large, leaders, start-ups, mature companies, takeovers... but also all activities, from the service company to the production company. »
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In your opinion, what vision do design companies have?
IL I think that companies have a partial vision of design, often restricted to its aesthetic dimension. I also think that their managers are somewhat timid about it. The word "design" can be frightening, probably due to a lack of understanding of its possibilities and purpose. Moreover, not all companies are at the same stage of maturity: they are gradually moving towards strategic design by going through three other stages, which are successively absence of design, styling and the integration of design into the process. This is why they need to be informed and guided.
For its part, Aquitaine has established itself as the leading region in terms of strategic support for design. It has long been concerned about the use of the strategic lever that design can be. In 2007, the Regional Council began financing design projects while consolidating its support for the "4 Design" structure - which has existed since 1989 - which has become the "Prospective Design" department of Aquitaine Développement Innovation (ADI). As a result, the area is home to some great success stories, such as Moludo (early childhood furniture), Atlantika (swimming pool shelters), Naadam Nature (cosmetics), Liphatech (pest control), etc.
And within Aquitaine Développement Innovation, design is a key and differentiating activity as it contributes to the generation of ideas and the acceleration of business transformation. My team and I support companies on a daily basis, from the initial thought process to the launch of an innovation project. We know that the first step is to raise awareness and educate. In particular, since 2008, we have been organising the Escales du Design to invite Aquitaine managers to discover, touch, meet, question, understand, dare... For its 4th edition, the date has been set for 4 December 2014, with the same desire to create a regional crossroads for meetings and information on strategic design. »
Aquitaine Développement Innovation / Escales du Design
About Aquitaine Développement Innovation (ADI) : it is the spearhead of the region's economic development. At the heart of its action: to encourage and provoke innovation in Aquitaine companies through direct support (by helping innovative companies individually or collectively) or indirect support (by strengthening the regional innovation ecosystem or by contributing to the definition of territorial development strategies).
Today considered as a strategic weapon of differentiation and development, Design is one of ADI's areas of expertise. On a daily basis, the "Prospective Design" team encourages company managers to use strategic design thinking to develop high-performance products in line with the market. To fulfil its mission, Prospective Design has developed its own methodology, the "Design Incubator".