Renovating or building stone houses which have soul, are his passion. His working area is generally Çeşme, Bodrum and Ayvalık. Making values of the city visible and contributing to environment are very important starting point for him. He is also very careful to create an aesthetical perception. It may be cultural, social or environmental… At the same time, he suggests that everybody should take on responsibility for this aim.

Şahin Tulga is an executive consultant who give the subtitles of the words of work, management and leadership and summarize us the strategy by two fundamental questions. He entertained us in his own office for a talk which coffee was excuse. This conversation has reminded us our role as a designer to motivate the team and to create inspirational field while we continue to do our work what we love. We learned a lot of things during this conversation. We hope that it will motivate you, too.

  • The word “strategy” is being used so much during the telling about product development process which meets the company’s expectation. When we consider it as a different definition which is used by entrepreneurial designers doing their own jobs, it is not easy for designers to make their own work efficient. What would you like to tell our readers about strategy focused on product development?

Let’s explain the principles first. There are two fundamental questions which we look for answers. One of them is that “Which market should I be active?”, the other one is that “How can I obtain competitive achievement?”.  The first question has three subcomponents. We don’t mean only geographic area by talking about the market. We also mention target customers and products which will be presented to them. All of them are related with each other. Firstly, we should decide the target customer and then the type of products. Or; you could start with the product. You could say that “I am good at making this product; so I should look for the target customer for it. You have competitors. It’s inevitable. But you must be different from them and meet your target customers’ some needs better than your competitors. It is subject of Strategy 101. You must answer the first question and you have to make a plan concertedly with your market, country/region, your target customer groups and their needs. Even, they should be synergic and strengthen with each other. For example, a coffee cup should remind us our other products. It means that customer should think these cups will fit my other products.

Strategy is such a thing that your system should strengthen each other and run fast like a human who got rid of extra fat.

  • What is the importance of the coffee in your life?

Coffee is important for anyone working by using their brain. I like tea more than the coffee. I wake up in the morning thanks to tea; then, I drink coffee. A leader, a manager or any business men have some works (as I told in TEDX). If you look at the big picture, you must set up a structural system and direct the conflicts. You must create an inspirational working area and motivate your employees. All of them are related with each other. If these work interactive, convenient structural system will make you successful. It is big picture in the business world. Coffee has a role in this system, too. If you allow your employees enough time to drink coffee, give them free coffees and present the coffee in beautiful cups; you increase the motivation. Because, you present inspirational working area. Unfortunately, it’s not the way it works in Turkish business world. People would like to build structural system. Well, what is it? “It is creating a strategy, building performance management system and setting up the good organizational structure. Then, people works and we will be successful.” The managers think the employees like themselves. So, they don’t give an importance the other factors. That’s our problem. Your job is important because of this.

As I mentioned above, there are four factors:

  • Building structural systems
  • Directing the conflicts
  • Increasing the motivation
  • Creating inspirational working area

The companies, like you have, could take a huge role for last two factors more than estimated.

I have a relationship with coffee because of my wife and daughters. They are coffee addict. If they don’t find third generation coffee, standard coffee is irreplaceable for our lives. In the end, coffee is stimulant beverage and it provides us to be more creative. If it is presented in a beautiful cup, it gives a huge pleasure.

  • There are third generation coffee shops in almost all streets…

Differentiating is really difficult. Especially, in the coffee. But, they could make a difference by offered value to customers like social environment, coffee cups etc. The coffee is almost the same in all coffee shops, because it comes from same countries. Almost all coffee makers present us different coffee beans. Freshness and ambience are significant for them. Yes, freshness is about coffee but ambience is not. Cups they use in serve, customer types, even conversation between customers. Let’s say, I went a coffee shop alone and drink some coffee. The cup is also beautiful. If I make contact with the other people in there, a very large socializing area occurs. But I cannot do myself. It’s really difficult. The owner of the coffee shop should do this.

  • Actually, like our coffeehouse (in Turkish Style)…

Exactly, the duty belongs to the owner.

  • You consult for both small and medium sized enterprises and large scaled companies. We think that when those companies invest for design, they will come to leadership level or they will continue to remain as leader. Is this collaboration realistic? What do you think?

As I mentioned above, building a structural system is design activity, actually. For example, strategy and performance evaluation systems. If there are a lot of factors, a design activity occurs. First, we collect data like designers and architects. Then, by using the data we describe the problem which we would like to solve. We develop solutions and make prototype. We test this prototype. If any problem arises, we reconsider about the problem. If the customer accepts this prototype, we present to the market. Why is this important? If design thinking makes an impression in management, people’s design awareness will increase. They will start to look around and their eye will start to see what they couldn’t before. Everything is about design… Leaders of companies will see their own works on the industrial designed objects and architecture. It will provide to widen their horizon. Closer collaboration will occur. They would like to develop themselves. Maybe, they would like to get involved in this process. Or, they will be satisfied.

  • You have a training about design-oriented thinking.

It is answer of the question “How is design-oriented thinking in business life?”. For example, processes. The consultancy process which we present to customers. There are ways that we follow. We would like to get better. We always make testing. We will be improving until we will have been perfect.

  • There is always assessment and evaluation.

Yes, there is. In the end, the future is in designer’s power or anyone who think design-oriented. Course, this approach is not enough. People who think system-oriented are also important. For example, a company’s sale decreased. Now, it is normal in Turkey. Companies have to cut down on expenses. What will we do? Will we lay off staff? This is the first solution that comes to mind. If you analyze the all factors in cause and effect relations, an incredible complex picture shows up. You could read this complication. If you would like to work up to, you should map. System-oriented and design- oriented approach will be very important for the next 20 years in the business world. But, people who work with design-oriented approach will be leader.

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