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Design Thinking to transform your business - with Melissa Wragge

Posted by Ben Whittacker-Cook on 18/06/2020 12:15:00 PM

Melissa Wragge is a Business Redesign Strategist and one of our most experienced coaches. Melissa is the founder of Tensegrity, a consultancy practice which helps leadership teams to architect a sustainable business model using design thinking techniques.

Design Thinking Icehouse

If you were fortunate enough to catch Melissa’s recent three-part webinar series with The Icehouse you will have gained a valuable insight into the concept of Design Thinking and the ways it can revolutionise your approach to resetting your business.

With a career spanning both hemispheres, her expertise is sought by growth minded organisations in all sectors and of all sizes. One of her clients just happens to be The Icehouse, as we work on evolving our own business model.

| Identifying your secret sauce

‘Many businesses do not have a sustainable revenue model nor a scalable one. When I work with them what I find is actually going on underneath is that they don’t understand value – what their value is and how to optimise that value. So part of my secret sauce is identifying and unlocking their true value potential. I do this through a design thinking process that starts with deep discovery work,’ she says.

‘For some, this can mean facing up to some tough realisations and having to answer some challenging questions. It often means pivoting off a different asset or strength than what you started with. What you think is your primary or most lucrative revenue stream, product or service might not be what you think.

‘When you understand that – what you have sustainable demand for, what you can better monetise, scale, and create multiple revenue streams off - then you’re well on your way to developing your strategic advantage.’

| Purpose and direction strategies

Once the discovery stage is complete, Melissa then helps businesses strategise around purpose and direction, before commencing the design phase of ideation, prototyping and testing.

‘People are at different stages in their business, in different industries and have different business challenges. It’s important to meet them where they’re at.

‘There’s no point in entrenching yourself in your current business model if it’s not future proof. We’re often taught about ‘silver bullets’ and ‘unique selling propositions’ and so on. We’re taught to be very narrow and reductive, and the real world isn’t like that. Businesses need to truly understand their business ecosystem. It’s more complex, but it’s rich with opportunity.  People are starting to get that – they just don’t know how to interpret that or translate that into commercial success. I help them through that process very simply.’

| Design thinking opportunities

Understanding your value and your ‘secret sauce’ also comes from profoundly reconnecting with who your customers really are – not who you think they are.

‘Organisations have a lot of opportunity to better streamline their operations. With a design thinking approach, you always work your operating model back from the value you’re offering your customers. What does this mean in terms of my systems, processes, people capability etc? It’s a more outside-in approach that’s actually way more effective and efficient’ she adds.

With the consequences of COVID-19 still being keenly felt, New Zealand is desperately attempting to get back on its business feet. Understanding the benefits of strategically redesigning your business model to unlock new opportunities has never been more critical, and Melissa believes the country is well-placed to leverage its position.

‘We have the mentally of innovation in New Zealand. We are early adopters and we move quickly. Our agility is our strength. What we don’t do so well is that we play the small game. So part of what I do is help people play a bigger game. It’s more ambitious but it creates more sustainable market advantage.’

For more information around Melissa’s services and how you can redesign your business model for long-term growth, head to: Tensegrity.

Visit our dedicated resource for businesses impacted by COVID-19. It’s full of useful information and resources, support and offerings, funding opportunities and partnership and coaching details.

For more business and leadership advice check out more of our blogs.

Topics: Business Coaching, Leadership, Business Strategy & Planning, Brand & Marketing, Growth, Coronavirus