Every successful business has a few traits that help it succeed. Some are obvious, such as the product or service itself. But others are behind the scenes, deep within the ecosystem of the business.

At my company UM Tech, one of our secrets to success is a human-focused approach to innovation known as Business Design. Business Design — which is also a core strategy of giant companies like Procter & Gamble, AirBnB and GE — combines customer empathy, design and strategy to create new tools that solve new problems. It builds on the principles that one should think like a designer and create something new, and that the optimal way to solve new problems is with new tools. But Business Design doesn’t only have to apply to building software; it can be used to build out the business models of virtually any services or products.

The Business Design approach relies on three tactics – assessment (understanding the needs of the customer, not just the wants of the business), ideation (generating potential solutions and repeatedly testing) and strategy (working with the business to align strategic intent) before ultimate execution. This Business Design process has helped us build an innovation agency — one that creates and develops new software for businesses — that leverages business, user experience (UX) and software design to create solutions.

Each of these individual tactics can increase the success of your business, but optimal results occur when all three are used in combination.

Check out the full article on Forbes.com