Archive | September, 2013

Creative Designing ft. Operations Management

29 Sep

design thinking is generally considered the ability to combine empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions, and rationality to analyze and fit solutions to the context.

Design thinking was the topic assigned to me by my professor so I started searching for it. Turns out, this ‘design thinking’ has been part of our everyday lives that was just turned into somewhat a form of management practice. Design per se is defined as a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is built or made. BEFORE it is built or made. So, design serves as a blueprint and somehow a plan on how an object will be produced. It has the job to suit the consumer’s or whose ever user will it land on to satisfy its needs. It customizes the product to best represent the need of the consumer. Combining design and thinking produces another ability that is now a form of solution-based, or solution-focused thinking that starts with the goal or what is meant to be achieved instead of starting with a certain problem.  

The innovation that comes from design thinking is that it is not looking for problems as what most management practices do but it redefines the way a service or product is done or made in the most efficient and creative way it can possibly think of. Companies are asking them to create ideas that better meet consumers’ needs and desires.  Through direct observation and empathy for what the people need, like and dislike about the way particular products are made comes innovation in the context of design thinking. Empathy is a main component of design thinking for what made it unique is the fact that it is human-centered. Then, creativity makes its way through by not just thinking outside the box but merely thinking in another perspective and that is to think that there is no box at all. In this way, operations management or the process that is required to get a service or product done is best partnered with this fundamental yet creative and complex thinking.

Now, let me tell you about operations management. Why am I talking about design thinking when operations management is the protagonist here? well you will be quite surprised but design thinking and operations management are like brothers from another mother! Applying them both simultaneously takes operation management in a whole new dimension. Whilst Operations Management focuses on overseeing, designing, and controlling the process of production and redesigning business operations in the production of goods or services, design thinking may knock the door of operations before actually operating for something. design thinking can alter and customize the process of operations management to maximize the production while lessening the time it needs to produce.

     “Thinking like a designer can transform the way you develop products, services, processes – and even strategy”

This best represent why design thinking and operations management may come together. To design the materials, the process and the product itself to a much better, efficient, and customized to best fit the people in need must always be the goal of operations management.

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Aside 17 Sep

Capitalism creates and destroys, destroys creatively, creates destructively. 

 Schumpeter understood the role of innovation in the economic change. He coined the term creative destruction to emphasize the importance of creating something new and introducing it to society. Creative destruction, he stated, occurs when improved methods to create the service rendered have appeared on the market, and people of this society prefer these new methods to deliver the service over the old methods. Therefore, it is only a consequence of people in society turning to the improved method. 

     The innovation introduced by an entrepreneur may never be monopolized, this will only lead to profit equality among competitors because in proportion as the machine came into general use, the price of commodity produced, would, from the effects of competition, sink to it’s cost of production as a consequence, profitability will again tend to equality. This reality makes the society reach fora higher level of wealth as time advances. thus, will eventually destroy capitalism from within according to Mr. Joseph Schumpeter. 

    This whole creative destruction got me thinking.. Economists have a way of predicting things about the society. Schumpeter’s analysis of the whole things left me at awe for I have witnessed somewhat a creative destruction around me. The ‘milk tea craze’ 2 years ago suddenly popped out of nowhere. You may only see milk tea occasionally for it was just brought here by some entrepreneurs who had tasted it probably from other countries. But after a few months or so, milk tea boomed everywhere. There is even one now inside San Beda! This goes to show that an innovation introduced in a society cannot be monopolized for after some time, it will eventually be imitated and will become a ‘general good’ thus having an effect called ‘profit equality’ among competitors urging intellectuals as what Schumpeter calls them or entrepreneurs to innovate again and again that may give the society a chance to acquire for a higher wealth. 

     Thanks to Schumpeter, I can now understand a part of economics without its dazzling graphs and numbers. The job of creative destruction into destroying something so creatively that more people in society would be happy to destroy rather than think about the people at stake. It is because we all get something positive out of the concept of destroying because through the years, it has created the world we have today. All its technological wonders and innovated products (some are not very useful though) are the byproduct of it. 

     Now, operations management might have a say in this because the operations that are being used today IS also a byproduct of the so-called “creative destruction”. operations managers must always have an endless research to achieve a more efficient and more effective way of doing things, or “innovative way” as what economists coined it. As what I have learned from Taylor ‘‘just because something has always been done that way, don’t assume that it’s the best way.”