The trans-disciplinary, integrative, collective, systems thinking of cybernetics places an explicit emphasis on the environmental impact of technologies, along with the human impacts, making it a truly holistic approach with which to tackle today’s increasingly interconnected ‘wicked’ problems, and ‘poly-crises’.
Design leadership illuminates pathways to a sustainable future. Extraordinary complexity calls for critical, holistic and systemic strategic thinking; the reframing of challenges as opportunities; and a systematic exploration of generating and exploring possible solutions. This is what designers are trained to do.
There’s an urgency for leaders to focus on ESG and, for those leaders who see beyond the need for compliance, who pursue innovation in strategy, in business model design and in ecosystem interaction, there are significant opportunities to reposition their businesses for advantage in this new operating context.
It’s easy to forget that every large corporation was once a start-up. As they grew, so did the bureaucratic apparatus to manage their operations. Innovation thrives when the mission is inspiring, the business constraints are clear, and when curiosity, creativity and new thinking are encouraged across the organisation.
The rise of platform business models and the shift to operating within new ecosystems of value rather than in linear value chains means that, for many organisations, their capability must evolve beyond designing and delivering a competitive customer experience, to designing and delivering a compelling experience for all ecosystem participants - consumers, producers and partners.