Designing for the better

Making a difference by design…

Designing for the better

This is something I’ve been wanting to get into for a long time, I just didn’t know where and how to start.

We all know that how we’re currently living and using the planet is unsustainable and that we need to do something about it. And I’ve been wanting to get into that, I just didn’t know where or how to get going. Of course we do our bit to help in our household, we recycle, we don’t use single use plastic bags anymore, we help with the wilding pines pest control, etc. That helps, but it feel like a tiny drop on a hot plate.

And then over summer we watched Sir David Attenborough’s program ‘A life on our planet, my witness statement’. We love Sir David in our household. We love the great outdoors and his programs are beautiful to watch, for the great camera work, for the amazing natural creatures and of course Sir David’s eloquent commentary and explanations.

But this documentary stands out. The program sets out 5 practical steps that we can take to bring our planet back to a sustainable place for all of us to live and thrive. If you haven’t watched it, do! It’s kid-friendly, watch it with the family. ( 1hr23min). There’s an accompanying book that gives the more elaborate version of the documentary and provides the links to the research. Highly recommend that one as well. (Most libraries have it!)

To give a very brief summary, the program is set up in 3 parts: how our planet changed over Sir David’s 94 years, the predictions if this trend goes on, and 5 steps to turn it around with examples of places our .
Read the 1 page summary with key takeaways here.

What am I doing now?

  • I’m now helping with each of Sir David Attenborough’s 5 steps. The film gave me a simple & coherent plan, which got me into action straight away. Some with donations, some with immediate actions.
  • And I’m keen to do more: what I can do is use my strengths – my connections, my knowledge, my expertise & experience in NPD to help as many business as possible to get going on designing for the better.

This blog is the first step towards that.

Designing for the better – It starts with us wanting it.

What are you doing to help?
As businesses we can lead. Let’s do that.

Why aren’t we?
We all get it. We all want a better future. So why aren’t we jumping into action?
My guess is, most of us don’t know where to start. Looking at the many businesses I’ve worked with over the years I can see 3 key reasons why those ‘better for the planet’ ideas don’t get started:

  1. don’t have a clear plan >> If you’re in this boat, Sir David Attenborough’s program make for a great guide: 5 simple steps. Watch it!
  2. don’t have a good overview of what’s going on in NPD right now. Don’t know where each project is at, when it will be ready. NPD feels unpredictable, making it hard to be in control and to get the team to work on those better-for-the-longer-term projects. >> If this is happening for you, you better get on to this if you want your business to get (& stay) ahead and lead with great products. This is my core area of expertise. If you need this sorted, get in touch.
  3. can’t get the bigger projects going – ‘quick & easy’, ‘urgent fires’ and ‘client-ready-to-buy’ and incremental projects keep taking precedence. >> If you keep working on the small &/urgent projects you’ll always be behind the eight ball. If customers are asking you for it, you can bet that your competitors are working on it as well. You know it’s short-term thinking. To get ahead of the game, get out of the short-term and start mixing in some longer term projects as well. Urgent ‘fire’ projects are likely caused by loopbacks. Dig deeper to find the root cause, so they don’t pop up again!  If you need this sorted, get in touch.

It’s way more exciting to lead than to just sit there and wait.

Let’s go!

Like Sir D. Attenborough says in his book: “Everything is set for us to win. We have a plan. We know what to do. There is a path to sustainability. It is a path that could lead to a better future for all life on Earth. We must let politicians and business leaders know that we understand this, that this vision for the future is not just something we need, but something we want.”

If we all help we’ll have our planet on track to be sustainable in time to halt and reverse the damage done.

How great would that be, to be part of the generation that saw the decline AND the return?

I’d love to go back to Sumatra and see the orangutan population really be wild, to see the coral reefs thrive, the beaches free of rubbish and to see our Fox glacier be back at its former size!

A few questions for you:

  • What can your business do to reduce its impact and protect the planet for today’s and future generations?
  • What ideas need to make it into the product / process development pipeline?
  • And one from Sir Peter Blake (in this week’s win’s spirit!) – “Have I done everything I can to make this boat go faster?”

Let’s design for the better!

Onwards & upwards,

About Saskia

Saskia is a new product development expert. She helps organisations to unlock their potential to consistently deliver new products faster, better, more profitable and with more fun.

Here are five ways I can help you to make a difference by design:
(1) Set up a time to talk, give me a call (021-68 49 68) or send me an email.
(2) Download my “Product Development Warriors’ whitepaper. Find it here!
(3) Sign up to my newsletter.
(4) Connect with me on LinkedIn, you’ll also find me regularly posting there.
(5) Forward this email to a colleague.