Blog  Corpus Callosum

Not Too Big to Innovate: How Design Strategies Can Transform Financial Services


Clients come to frog to discover the next breakthrough product or service that will inspire and delight their customers. Increasingly we’re hearing from banks and other financial institutions that are seeking design strategies to accelerate innovation in their organizations. Like consumer products and entertainment companies, banks want to create more dynamic and engaging user experiences based on the real needs—both emotional and practical—of their customer base. And once they define these opportunities they need to push the best ideas through the organization toward realization.  In many cases, our design strategy approach has helped accelerate the process of getting innovations to market—in ways that often surprise our clients.   

Blog  Intangible

What Aspiring Designers Need to Know About Strategy

Segmentation strategy... for Cute Overload

This is an exclusive excerpt from my new book, Success by Design: The Essential Business Reference for Designers, which was recently released by HOW.

As I read through his resume, the designer stared at me expectantly. He had a wealth of great design projects under his belt. He had been seeking out personal projects to build out his portfolio. He had internships with sterling businesses and design studios. But there was one thing that leapt out at me from the list of core skills he’d listed at the top of his resume: strategy.

Not brand strategy, content strategy, interactive strategy, media strategy, or the MBA-land of business strategy. Just plain ‘ol strategy.

This has been happening more and more frequently, for a few reasons. In the process of providing strong service to our clients, we increase the likelihood of becoming a strategic partner. We finally have a seat at the table when the client is talking strategy—and we can offer a range of strategic services that verge outside what may be considered a designer’s core area of expertise. This is a good thing. With the ongoing expansion of design’s role in business, today’s designers are helping to solve problems that transcend mere decoration and instead impact the core functions of a client’s business.

But in our haste to be strategic partners, I’ve discovered that many designers don’t fully grasp how strategic services fit into their client offerings. And when I ask designers out of sheer curiosity how they’re functioning as strategists—what experiences they directly bring to bear on being strategists rather than having a strategic orientation—they can’t easily answer the question.

If you’re going to run a design-led business, it’s inevitable that you will need to talk strategy with your clients. So let’s explore the types of strategies you might create as a design businessperson, as well as how they may support the efforts of your clients. It’s my hope that this information will open up some new paths for you to explore in your career as a designer.

Blog  The Editor's Notebook

Radical Openness: How to Best Understand it, Manage it, Harness it?

Not so long ago, in the mid-2000s, many conversations in offices, schools, and even parties centered around the exciting concept of radical openness made possible by then-new social media. But now, as the 2010s are in full swing and social media are established, dominant platforms, how can we--as designers, strategists, organizations, consumers, and individuals--best harness the widespread acceptance of radical openness? The recent TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, offered a fascinating and widely varied lineup of speakers who, collectively, helped to answer this question. Or at least will help propel the discussion forward, long after the conference ended on June 29.


Reinvent Business: A Special Hackathon

From Occupy Wall Street to corporate breakup letters in The New York Times, the widening “trust gap” between business and society can’t be ignored. Almost half a decade of financial fallout has diminished companies’ social capital while dramatically redefining the challenges they face. As we grow more interconnected and interdependent, the lines between the corporate and the social blur. Still, despite countless social responsibility pacts and codes of conduct, businesses continually make decisions disconnected from society’s needs.

Blog  Innovation Leadership

Are We Living in a Post-CEO World?

In a complex business environment, innovative companies must move from a guru model to one based on team leadership.

Dr. Love

Paul Zak has a secret ingredient for making the economy thrive: oxytocin.

Blog  Innovation Leadership

Why Conviction Drives Innovation More Than Creativity

In business circles, “creativity” has become a buzzword to describe a desired trait among employees. It’s widely believed that having creative thinkers on staff will boost overall team levels of innovation. Yes, creativity can lead to a surplus of original ideas. But when it comes time to sell those concepts internally, and then later take those ideas to market, creativity is not enough. More important is conviction.

Blog  Remarketables

Remarketables 8.22.11

This week's collection of remarkable links, curated by the frog marketing team.


Do You Suffer from Decision Fatigue?

Renovating the Fifth Avenue Cube: Apple's invisible advantage.

Blog  Accelerant

From the Trenches: Musings from an MBA at an Innovation Firm

Editor's Note: frog Senior Strategist Tanya Khakbaz authored this post to share her own experience transitioning from being an MBA to life in the trenches at an innovation firm. At frog, Tanya works with design teams to incorporate the business and market perspective into the design process. She has worked on a diverse set of frog projects, from ATM redesign for a large bank to digital media strategy for a media conglomerate. Before joining frog, Tanya worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.  She received her MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and her undergraduate degree in Economics with distinction from Stanford University.

(Part Two here)


When I was an MBA student at Harvard Business School (HBS), there were several companies that drew crowds of over-eager students to their recruiting presentations.  Students would claw their way into classrooms to snatch a seat, and after the presentation, stay late to elbow their way to speak to the presenters.  These sought-after potential employers were the usual suspects: venture capital and private equity firms, hedge funds, top-tier management consulting companies. However, there was one industry whose companies only started to participate in recruiting, but nonetheless generated Justin Bieber-like fanfare: design consulting. 

Blog  Remarketables

Remarketables 8.15.11

This week's collection of remarkable links, curated by the frog marketing team.

Google acquires Motorola Mobility for 12.5 billion.

Top 10 Cloud Computing Trends.

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