Strategy vs Design

Here at ‘the box’ we are divided into two rooms: the ‘engine room’ and the ‘ideas factory’.

I’m not a strategist, I don’t sit in the ‘engine room’ with Lien and Tony, I’m a designer who sits in the ‘ideas factory’, so my take on the importance of strategy in marketing is of course biased to the view that design is the more important ingredient than that of strategy.

Of course the strategy guys see it the other way around.

The Chinese philosophy of yin and yang sums it up perfectly: the interconnectedness of two opposite forces and the way they unify each other to create a sense of balance.

Strategy is the yin and design is the yang.

Even though I may see the strategy department as the evil negative force that wants to destroy all the beauty and light that is design, I accept that their input from all the boring statistics and yawn research and zzzzzzzzzzz…

…Whoops feel asleep there, as I was saying these bringers of doom and gloom do actually play a part in the direction of design, all their negativity and over analysing pulls us back down from the heady heights of glorious earth shattering world peace solving design goodness (cue rainbows and unicorns) to something rather more on target.

The yin and yang symbol is not only divided into two separate even parts, but each of those separate parts contain a piece of the opposing side, just as we designers and strategists do. Of course I think strategically in designing, so too the strategy guys have a notion of design in them.

At the end of the day neither disciplines will achieve much without each other working together. The symbol shows that both the ‘engine room’ and the ‘ideas factory’ need to come together to work.