Taking a page from design firms

role-play patient-care scenarios
The Wall Street Journal reports on how businesses are tapping designers for innovative ideas on management.

“When New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center wanted to make the chemotherapy process easier on patients three years ago, it sought help from an unusual place: the design firm IDEO Inc.

The IDEO consultants approached the problem the way they design eggbeaters or CD players: by closely watching patients and testing little changes.

The process delivered surprises. Clinic staffers thought patients disliked long waits for treatments. But patients said other worries were more stressful, so the clinic changed how patients are tested, how they learn about chemotherapy and how they get to the clinics. […]

Sloan-Kettering’s work with IDEO comes as businesses increasingly tap the design world for fresh ideas on management. Some are struggling with new business models and unexpected rivals; others seek new approaches to old problems.

The article features other examples of businesses working with designers such as the New York public-radio station WNYC, a health insurer develop new products, an Asian telecommunications firm, Mexican cement company Productos Cementeros Mexicanos, and Mattel Inc.”

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