Check out Luke Wroblewski's view of Design Skills for Strategy. I agree with Luke that the key elements outlined below are important to decision-making and driving innovative solutions with customers.
"…an abridged version of four core design considerations that provide unique value to strategic decision-making:
- Pattern Recognition: allows us to identify relationships within information. (the data).
- Story Telling: gives us a way to organize data into something meaningful by focusing on a big idea and supporting messages (the synthesis).
- Visual Hierarchy: gives us a way to tell the story effectively (the means).
- Empathy: allows us to make the story memorable and impactful (the meaning)."