IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference

Patrick Whitney of IIT Institute of Design,Don Norman of Nielsen Norman Group and Roger Martin of Rotman School of Management discuss design and strategy.

Patrick Whitney of IIT Institute of Design, Don Norman of Nielsen Norman Group and Roger Martin of Rotman School of Management discuss design and strategy.

Tom Neis and Melissa Neis Wittenborn attended the 2014 IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference, a two day event held annually in Chicago. The conference explores how design thinking can optimize company strategy through practical, user-focused solutions. Executives from Steelcase, Intuit, Logitech and United Healthcare shared their organizational successes implementing design tactics, while the Institute’s professors offered academic insight on trendy topics like big data, privacy, and research methodology.

Drawing from disciplines like engineering, social sciences, business, and the arts, design thinking uses various tools to uncover the human needs at the core of a product or business problem. Then, after extensive research and brainstorming, designers create prototypes to help visualize and refine ideas. The goal: to create empathetic and user-focused solutions to complex issues.

As technological innovation continues to propel market disruption, it’s no wonder that many businesses are looking to retain market share by improving user experience. Across all industries big businesses are adding design teams to tackle major problems. Even business schools are including qualitative design methodologies in their curriculum as a supplement to more traditional quantitative analysis.

The past few years have seen a design and innovation bonanza.  If the design achievements explored at the Strategy Conference offer any indication, the role of design will only become more integral to how businesses shape strategy and solve core problems. And in the insurance industry, we look forward to it! Our industry has remained largely static for decades. We sell products that are often misunderstood by the public though arguably outmoded distribution channels. We certainly don’t have to look far for opportunities to improve customer experience.

At Parr Insurance Brokerage, we continuously seek out new ways to deliver relevant and cutting edge products to our customers, but sometimes it takes an educational experience like the Design Strategy Conference to inspire truly innovative ideas.

A special thanks to Ashley Lukasik the Director of Corporate Relations, Communications & Marketing at IIT Institute of Design for inviting Parr Insurance to this fantastic, thought provoking event.