The global crisis forced many businesses into survival-mode. Now is the time to lift our gaze and rethink — not just to survive, but to thrive. But how? Successful companies that have doubled down on innovation during crises can show us.

Part 1

At the turn of the 18th century, Napoleon’s France was enduring a deep recession and a war on several fronts. Their armies urgently needed shelf-stable food, so Napoleon offered a prize of 12,000 francs for anyone who could preserve food. A resourceful young chef, Nicolas Appert, had his eyes on the prize and ended up changing the way we eat forever: he packed food into sealed, airtight champagne bottles with cheese and lime. …


Illustration by Anna Saraste

The global crisis forced many businesses into survival-mode. Now is the time to lift our gaze and rethink — not just to survive, but to thrive. But how? Successful companies that have doubled down on innovation during crises can show us.

At the turn of the 18th century, Napoleon’s France was enduring a deep recession and a war on several fronts. Their armies urgently needed shelf-stable food, so Napoleon offered a prize of 12,000 francs for anyone who could preserve food. A resourceful young chef, Nicolas Appert, had his eyes on the prize and ended up changing the way we eat forever: he packed food into sealed, airtight champagne bottles with cheese and lime. …


For a long time, designers have participated in fuelling un-sustainability and been a part of the problem. It’s time we take responsibility and make the triple bottom line a default part of the design process. But how? Behavioural design can help.

First published at Matters. Co-authored with Sofie Jensen.

New solutions and technologies are not going to be enough to achieve sustainability. The “last mile” of design implementation or social intervention will always require an individual to make a choice and act in a certain way — e.g. vote, recycle, consume less, take a medication, allow a child to go to school, etc. Many of the United Nations’ SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are linked to human behaviour — norms and attitudes that require behavioural changes from individuals, organisations, and societies.

But changing human behaviour is often very challenging, and our intuition…


Fellow designers, take a look in the mirror. We keep making crap that’s making the world worse. Now that we finally have a seat at the big table, let’s design a more sustainable future for everyone.

First published at Matters.

We need to get off our high horse. Just because something has been designed, does not make it better. As designers, we’ve participated in fuelling un-sustainability and been a part of the problem. We’ve brought lots of crap into the world. It’s time we stop creating things like single-use plastic products that pollute our oceans, or social media services that damage young people’s mental health. It’s time we start designing for the good of humanity and the planet. …


Illustration by Marte Viksmoen

Fellow designers, take a look in the mirror. We keep making crap that’s making the world worse. Now that we finally have a seat at the big table, let’s design a more sustainable future for everyone.

We need to get off our high horse. Just because something has been designed, does not make it better. As designers, we’ve participated in fuelling un-sustainability and been a part of the problem. We’ve brought lots of crap into the world. It’s time we stop creating things like single-use plastic products that pollute our oceans, or social media services that damage young people’s mental health. It’s time we start designing for the good of humanity and the planet. …


I innovate for better business with design thinking and lean startup.

I’m a business designer, advisor and Director at Designit, where I love to lead teams, advise clients and design great stuff that improves the world at least a little — one project at a time. My training is originally in business development and strategy, and I’ve worked with design and innovation for nearly a decade.

I love working in autonomous, small teams to create tangible results at high speed. I abhor bureaucracy, slow processes and big talk without the walk. …


Perhaps the very best business book I’ve ever read is summarised in this neat animated video. It’s about Customer Experience Management, and it’s called ‘Outside In — The Power of Putting Your Customers at the Center of Your Business’. Enjoy!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWMStx7hO6M&list=PL154B92D024E6A636#t=12]


It’s time to advance from service design focused on sheer customer orientation and simplification. Only unique brand experiences can build long-lasting competitive advantages.

Services are increasingly business- and brand-critical

When it comes down to it, customers aren’t interested in you. Studies show that consumers wouldn’t care if three out of four brands disappeared today. They’re interested in their own lives, experiences and needs. It’s up to you to make yourself relevant and accessible at each point of contact in order to be given some of their precious time. This is increasingly done through extra services or expanding the core service experience.


Many of the mistakes organisations make in their work with their website are recurring. Here’s a list of what I see as the 15 most common pitfalls and some simple advice on how to leap across them.

I’d love your help to develop and refine the list further, so please pitch in with your views in the comments area.

1. Failing to prioritise strictly. Failing to prioritise and focus sufficiently is the most common and most destructive pitfall of them all. Many businesses seem to put as much content and functionality as possible at the top of their site. This will distract users from what you most want them to do and what they came to your site to do.

Structure your site with the most important content for your users highlighted at the top and the…


At Creuna where I work we talk a lot about why firms should become truly customer-centric and improve customer experiences across touch points continuously and holistically. Because “at the end of the day, customers no longer separate marketing from the product — it is the product. They don’t separate marketing from their in-store or online experience — it is the experience. In the era of engagement, marketing is the company,” as McKinsey perfectly puts it. Learn more about the principles of Customer Experience Management in this brilliant video by my colleague Torbjørn.

In order to build and manage these great…

Erlend T. Hovgaard

Partner, Strategic Advisor and Designer at Reodor, an innovation studio

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