Fast Company’s September issue, “United States of Design,” spotlighted the critical role that design plays in any company’s key business decisions. One particularly interesting article profiled General Motor’s Mary Barra, a leader of product development trying to redesign the struggling company’s cars. In the article, Bara describes her goal: make “every GM car sleeker, sharper, and more efficient.”

Barra has a daunting task ahead of her: “she will have to design [GM’s] future.” To keep the company afloat, it’s not just about the marketing efforts, it’s about the “design, engineering, [and] performance” that are necessary to back the brand. She’s working in the midst of what the company hopes to be a turnaround, and though she has a long road ahead of her, the emphasis she puts on design are keeping her on the right track.

Barra’s challenge is one faced by many American business executives today. Those who recognize the benefits of incorporating design into business strategy are already one step ahead.

Read more of the Fast Company article here.