In my February 2016 blog, I referenced a quote from Dieter Rams, “We [designers] don’t work in a vacuum. We need business people.” The implication, as I pointed out, is that contributions from others is invaluable for successful decision-making. Harvard Business Review featured an article in February 2016, The Antidote to HiPPOs: Crowd Voting that pointed out the potential for poor decisions is greater when corporate policy dictates that decisions are left to the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO).
At Impact we have found that top management opinions are invaluable. We do not view such opinions as final decisions, but rather as a contribution towards making a decision. The success of our product designs, new products, and use of new materials has been a team effort ever since Bobi Hamilton, CEO, began growing Impact with talented and innovative staff. She understood and practiced the genius of truly hearing and incorporating the contributions from others in design decisions. Today, all design, new product development, and use of new materials are decisions made by a talented, innovative, and professionally focused team.