Many senior managers involved in the service sector are still unaware of the benefits that design can bring to their offerings and, as a result, many organisations are operating at a sub-optimum level.
Mounting economic pressures combined with a gloomy 2009 outlook make innovative design investments for health care organizations seem silly. Au contraire. Mr. Hollins writes:
Only recently have managers in organisations involved in the service sector realised that a conscious effort in applying design techniques to services can result in greater customer satisfaction, greater control over their offerings and greater profits.
From the International Herald Tribune:
The economic crisis has also squashed any lingering doubts about the urgency of finding new ways to address acute social problems more efficiently – from caring for the expanding elderly population, to improving the management of over-stretched health care services. This newfound realism is already benefiting the emerging breed of “social designers.” (bold and italics mine)
Your job in 2009 (if you truly consider yourself a health care transformer) is to fully comprehend the concept of design and the power it holds for improving our health care system. By no means am I a design expert in the traditional sense; but design excites the heck out of me. New thinking (ideas…solutions…execution…) is required in a time (this year…next year…the year following…) of significant transition through a difficult operating environment.
That said, we all need tools to help expand our thinking and diversify our perspectives. Throughout the entirety of 2009 (upon occasion) our own system will supply design-minded information focused upon aiding this quest. Thoughtful debate is always welcomed.
Here is the start: a couple of definitions worth more exploration.
Service Design (from Wikipedia) “is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service, in order to improve its quality, the interaction between service provider and customers and the customer’s experience.”
Social Design (from Wikipedia) is “a design process that contributes to improving human well-being and livelihood.”
Here’s to a designfull 2009!