The six building blocks of a design-based organisational culture

13 May 2019 4 min. read

In an increasingly competitive business environment, organisations need to take the step from development to design of their business operations, according to new analysis from global professional services firm KPMG. Designing a central strategy allows for internal coherence of all internal processes. 

Doing business in India is becoming both more easy and more lucrative, as the economy propels towards an anticipated position amongst the top two in the world in the near future. An abundance of foreign investment has resulted, making the business environment in the country increasingly competitive.

A number of recommendations have been made with respect to remaining competitive in this scenario, starting with increased investment in digitalisation. Big Four accounting and advisory firm KPMG has been looking beyond this wave of digitisation to see what priorities should follow.Design quotient India 2018

Once most organisations are digitalised, a degree of uniformity is likely to set in within the business environment. The differentiating factors thereafter will come in the customer relationship management and delivery domains. To this end, KPMG recommends DevOps strategies to increase competitiveness.

Nevertheless, differentiation in a digitalised environment can even extend to the back end. New analysis by the firm emphasises the need for careful design and strategy when it comes to developing business processes, and has put forth “six building blocks” of a design driven future.

Implementing these building blocks, according to the authors, unifies an organisation's operations and brings a great degree of internal coherence. The six blocks encompass as many as 20 different factors relating to business processes, which are further an amalgamation of 57 elements.Design quotient industry-wise 2018

The first of these building blocks is values, which entails the development of an organisational ethos that offers direction to its operations. “A highly-developed value system is like a compass, it points us in the right direction and guides our behaviour and decisions. It is what defines us,” says KPMG in its report. 

The next of these is behaviour, which draws on the organisational ethos and allows the leadership of an organisation to set an example. The report describes behaviour as perhaps the most essential of the components, driving the leadership to energise, engage and enable their workforce.

Developing a nurturing and supportive environment is the third building block recommended by the firm, which acts as a facilitator for the first two blocks. The fourth of these blocks is an action statement of sorts, which the firm defines under the category of ‘process.’Design quotient industry-wise 2018

Having a detailed set of processes in place that draw on the organisational ethos and behavioural models. In order to translate the ethos into innovative behaviour and processes requires the deployment of resources towards organisational operations, defined by KPMG as the fifth building block.

The sixth building block for a design-driven organisational culture is ‘success,’ which involves measuring outcomes on clearly defined indicators. These indicators are directly linked to the changes introduced within the organisation. Based on these six blocks, the firm conducted a survey amongst Indian businesses to determine the status of design thinking in the country.

The survey found that the two sectors that have proved most advanced across most blocks are industrial manufacturing and media & entertainment, while the education and financial services sectors emerged as the poorest performers in the country. Notably, the report also highlighted that Indian businesses were further along their design process than multinational firms in the country.