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The Business of Design, Innovation and New Ventures

31Oct

Apple was as much of a wake up call to today’s design world as Sputnik was, in the last century, to the field of space exploration – no more “business as usual.” Overnight, everyone from corporations and governments to educational institutions and NGOs scrambled to get up to speed with the more design-centric organizations such as Apple, Nike, BMW and IKEA. A favored way to ramp up was to hire consultancies like IDEO, Frog or DesignworksUSA to develop one’s design strategy. Today, a better approach may be to systematically build design and innovation capabilities into the fabric of one’s organizational culture

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Apple was as much of a wake up call to today’s design world as Sputnik was, in the last century, to the field of space exploration – no more “business as usual.”

Overnight, everyone from corporations and governments to educational institutions and NGOs scrambled to get up to speed with the more design-centric organizations such as Apple, Nike, BMW and IKEA.

A favored way to ramp up was to hire consultancies like IDEO, Frog or DesignworksUSA to develop one’s design strategy. Today, a better approach may be to systematically build design and innovation capabilities into the fabric of one’s organizational culture.

As management consultant representing Niels Brock in Copenhagen, Steffen Herskind is doing exactly this. It begins with changing the paradigm of how design contributes to innovation and the success of new ventures. Denmark has a long tradition for leveraging design in everything from medical equipment, consumer electronics to furniture and public space. Now Niels Brock will combine the best of American inventiveness and the Danish sensitivity to individuals’ need.

Niels Brock California International Business University is located in downtown San Diego’s Italian Quarter and shares the same roof with Downtown Works, which is a dynamic co-working space. This means students, educators, researchers and entrepreneurs rub shoulders daily – ensuring that both one’s business education and business needs are fully aligned.

The ‘mother-ship’ of this new world enterprise is Niels Brock in Copenhagen, a one hundred and thirty year old Danish business institution that was a spin off from the world-renowned Copenhagen Business School. Niels Brock now seeks to leverage the Nordic Model of education and Danish Design by revolutionizing the education of business. Niels Brock sees Niels Brock CIBU in San Diego as an investment in the future of design driven business research and education.

This business university is redefining business education and application by applying a combination of knowledge, experience transfer and acquisition, along with new hires, partnerships, and collaboration with entrepreneurs. They also offer cutting edge design science research at their Design Driven Venture Lab.

As the new Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Søren Ingomar Petersen is responsible for developing and implementing the university’s cutting edge strategic – building capabilities within Design, Innovation, New Entrepreneurial Ventures and Big Data Analytics.

There will be many opportunities for implementing design and innovation in all aspects of Niels Brock’s education and research; however, changing business education is a concerted team effort – not the job of a lone gunman. Thus, the effort is spread across institutions, is cross-functional and relies on broad crowdsourcing.

The driving vision is the development of a revolutionary Inspirational Design Thinking method. Business has already embraced Design Thinking, however that process has obvious limitations. Whenever a process relies on upfront user research, it is doomed to foster only incremental innovation, for as Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Inspirational Design Thinking addresses this limitation by augmenting the established Design Thinking process and by exploring “Big Questions” to establish strong “Whys” behind any new business venture. One way of determining these strong “Whys” is to focus on the meaningful values in our lives, such as love, courage and accomplishment.

This may sound like just so many lofty concepts, however through extensive research and working with professors from Stanford, Copenhagen Business School, Art Center College of Design, Kookmin University and leaders at Applied Design Science and the INDEX Award, Dr. Petersen has ensured that these methods are sound. Using Applied Design Science also provides the design and risk assessment methods to confirm that significant improvements are actually being achieved.

Brian Hawkins, Dean of Student Affairs and a serial entrepreneur, see that today’s students need courses that prepare them for all aspects of business, especially new entrepreneurial ventures. The multi-tasking millennial demands a multidisciplinary educational experience with the support necessary for taking innovative ideas to practical reality. Niels Brock CIBU has created a ‘second nest’ for today’s learners and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, providing a fertile field where university meets accelerator where students can test, perfect, and launch.

As the computer scientist Alan Curtis Kay has said “The best way to predict the future is to invent it!” and it would appear that just a couple of miles north of the Mexican border, in San Diego’ wellness culture, Niels Brock CIBU is taking business research, and education to the next level.

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The Business of Design, Innovation and New Ventures

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