in my workshops on strategy & design I often use the example of IKEA to describe that design is a ‘process’ rather than simply a ‘product’. while, for most of us (and this is especially true for germans ;-), IKEA is similar to affordable scandinavian design, for IKEA design is just one means to generate successful business.
“It started by piggybacking its deliveries on milk trucks, and was almost wiped out by a fire. Now it has 186 stores in 31 countries and has made its reclusive founder, Ingvar Kamprad, the world’s richest man – while producing the beds on which 10% of Europeans were conceived. What is the secret of Ikea’s success? And what exactly is a Mållen clip for? Oliver Burkeman travels to the heart of Kamprad’s austere empire to find out. … True, you can love Ikea or hate it; you may feel both things at once. What is certain, though, is that Ikea loves you. This love is not unconditional – you’re going to have to work for it, primarily by assembling furniture. But Ikea really does love you, with an intensity that can be unsettling. And it has big plans for your future together.”
read the article and find out why IKEA is a superb example of combining ‘vision, passion, purpose, and charisma’ in order to serve both the company and most importantly: the customer! finally the article also lists some interesting figures [to which I will refer to from now on in my seminars ;-)].