Designing Work for Future Needs. Future Needs are Here NOW!

Last week I participated the last one of the design related discussions of the series “Enter and Encounter – A series of discussions hosted by curators” jointly organised by Design Museum and the Finnish Association of Designers Ornamo. My expectations were high due to the interesting title: “Designing Work” (more here, in Finnish) and due to the fact the previous discussion was so inspiring. (You can read from it on my previous blog-post here.)
As last time, it really was worth making my way to the Design Museum after a long and exhausting day at work.

Ville Tikka, Strategy & Design Director at Wevolve and Esko Kilpi, founder and principal in Esko Kilpi Oy, were discussing with the audience on the topics such as how work could and should be redesigned for future needs and to create and maintain meaningful and successful organizations and what is the role of design in this evolution; design tools and methods as well as design thinking are applied and used to reformulate the way organizations and companies operate and the way teams and individuals work together.
The very first topic that had to be covered in order to carry on the discussion was, of course, to define what work is. What is seen as value? What are organizations and companies selling?
Companies are selling solutions and services, or moreover results: one has a problem, other has a solution. However, most of the companies are nowadays concentrating their operations on selling outdated solutions, solutions to the problems that no longer exist. And current or traditional organizations are not fitted into the world we’re currently living in.
In order to succeed in the rivalry and being able to meet new demands with updated solutions, companies need to start rethinking their strategies and redesigning their operations and organizational structures, topics such as:
Companies should be seen as intermediaries and facilitators between employees and customers.
Management should be seen as a service function: How can management serve employees better in order for them to serve their customers better.
Productiveness today equals learning. Continuous learning and developing will be required by organizations and individuals.
All the above is nothing new and might seem as self-evident but these can no longer be taken for granted. The future needs are here NOW and concrete change is needed to be put in action. This is where design comes in.
Design can offer organizations creative tools and methods to face the challenges in front and to prepare for and manage the unknown ahead.

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