"My dictionary says design is a planner’s scheme conceived in the mind, of something to be done. If this definition is acceptable, then the business executive, is also a designer. His or her whole life is spent designing–designing marketing plans, financial plans, plant layout, competitive strategies and the rest.
Good design in business, just as in the arts, is quite simply the very best that one has in himself to do. It is not always an easy or pleasant or enjoyable thing to do your best. For any human being to do his or her best, he or she has to have the association and assistance of other people and has to be humble enough to take it.
The best that others have done helps you discover that. Further, the discipline of a demanding client is necessary to bring out the best, whether in an architect or artist or accountant.” The best is seldom to be found in your first concept. Young artists, young composers, even young financial analysts seldom understand this. They often think there is something untouchable in their first ideas. It's a sobering experience indeed to study Beethoven's notebooks and observe how slowly, with pain, and with how many false starts he worked to bring glorious music out of mediocre initial thoughts.
Good design also has nothing to do with image, which is a phony work if there ever was one. Image is basically an attempt to cover up, a cosmetic to make you look better than you really do. Good design at the heart is simply honesty. It is an ingredient of character. Good design influences all parts of a business. It sustains character and honesty in every aspect of the business. Good design, therefore, is very good business indeed."
J. Irwin Miller, Chairman of the Executive Committee
Cummins Engine Company, 1979