How is the title?. :-) . This is something I didnt make it up. And its a reference from an interesting article in India business magazine 'Businessworld'.
I was tempted to pickup the last week edition of Businessworld, as it was a special issue having the theme called 'Using Design as Competitive Advantage'. Of course, the title is so tempting to read in detail, because of its one of my favorite subjects and me being an architect! :-)
The point in story is that, in recent past, the companies that are admired most are the ones that have achieved global success though design!. Do you agree?. I do. Examples - Apple, Intel and Sony. Apple was rated as the No.1 Admired company in the World by Forbes magazine recently. The next No.2 being GE. The rating indicates that it does not matter what products that you manufacture - whether its for lifestyle segment or aerospace segment - the question is how well do you manufacture? - It matters how well the product is designed and whether the product explictely demonstrates the company's vision, passion, creativity and innovation. So, the question for successful companies of the future would be - Not how much revenue you generate, but how well do you design your product/service that will truly 'delight' your customers?. Of course, this yardstick cannot be applied to all companies. But, it will be really be applicable to companies that want to make a difference to their respective industries.
Another key point to be noted from the story goes like this - "Design when practiced at strategic level, it can alter the fortunes of the business dramatically as it engages the core offering of the company - be it product or service". Absolutely!. This is exactly what Zachman said in his conference on how Enterprise Architecture can be positioned strategically within the company to give itself a competitive advantage.
Now, coming to the 'impeachment' on MBA, it is a part of a Indian CEO's interview. He states "MBA degree signifies nothing more than the acquisition of a resource allocation skill, and now it is time to move from that to a more creativity-based mode where design becomes the heart of problem solving, the driving seat of business innovation.” And interestingly, the CEO himself is an MBA.
Not to trvialize the degree, the point the story wants us to buy is that that design has to be given equal importance as Management within any company. And I endorse it! :-)