Now this theory may prove too radical for some – especially for the start of the week – but just hear me out.

I believe that there is a place for design in every business.

Before you storm The Walter Building with your pitchforks, crying out “but I don’t have a creative bone in my body”, what I am specifically talking about is design-thinking.

Design-thinking is the method of combining creative thinking and the design process to solve problems.

Today, design is being used as a strategic resource and embraced across entire organisations, allowing them to better identify creative solutions and opportunities for business growth. It can be applied across all facets of the business from branding and the customer experience right through to the workplace environment and their strategic business direction.

A study completed in March this year by the Design Management Institute has shown that in the past 10 years, design-driven businesses have maintained significant stock market advantage and are out-performing their counterparts by 228%.

But design-driven innovation isn’t just for the Apple, Nike and Coca Cola’s of the world!

Innovation is often associated with the introduction of new products or services in your business. However, it can also be about changing the way you do business.

Leading management expert Dr Lars Groeger from the Maquarie Graduate School of Management has said that “design thinking must be the next frontier to encourage growth and innovation or Australian businesses will fall behind”.

As Charles Kettering once said: “If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.”

Stay tuned over the next month for tips on how you can implement design-driven innovation into your small business!