How to Ignite & Sustain Innovative Culture: Top 3 Takeaways from the 2019 Design Thinking Conference
Design thinking drives strategic innovation. So how do you learn design thinking? How do you teach others? How can an organization adopt design thinking to become more innovative?
The 2019 IQPC Design Thinking conference attracted thinkers, practitioners and organizations seeking to ignite and sustain innovative culture through proven design thinking practices. Keep reading to learn our top three takeaways and favorite resources from the conference.
Praxent’s Design Thinking 2019 Conference Recap Video
>> Struggling to catalyze innovation? Download the Field Manual for Rapid Innovation for 5 simple tools that foster design thinking.
#1 Monitor Sustained Progress toward Transformation
Creating change within an organization is like physical fitness. Be deliberate. Be envisioned. Self evaluate. Mad*Pow’s Fitness Model is an excellent tool for measuring an organization’s overall progress toward design-thinking culture.
Fitness Model for Diagnosing Innovative Competency
There are 7 categories of behaviors that are key to creating and sustaining an innovative culture. Organizations can evaluate and monitor progress in these areas, identifying gaps and solutions to drive progress toward design transformation.
In his presentation, “Developing a Behavioral Model for Human Centered Design & Innovation,” Adam Connor outlined the 7 categories for “fitness,” including:
- Vision & Direction Is the organization aligned around a clear vision?
- Learning & Measurement How feasible is user-based problem-solving?
- Empowerment Can teams and individuals autonomously make vision-aligned decisions?
- Experience Management Is the organization managing, coordinating and measuring experiences?
- Collaboration How well do teams collaborate across roles and departments?
- Execution Is the organization capable of implementing the vision?
- Design Practice Are core design methods being leveraged for impact?
#2 Change What People Do + Think
Design is about impacting behaviors through products that reinforce the way people act. Design thinking is a powerful tool for changing behaviors across an organization.
Create Behavioral Change
Facilitating design transformation and an innovative culture means changing what people think as well as do. In her presentation, “Design Culture: Design Thinking That Lasts,” Meriah Garret offered key insights on how to teach teams to be design thinkers. In an organization, teams are the unit of change and design thinking is the mechanism for making innovation accessible, relatable and symbiotic.
You can’t fix problems with the same thinking that created them. – Jess Leitch, North America Design Lead at Idean
Tips for the Transformation Journey
Design thinking scales. In her presentation, “Scaling Design Culture: Growing a Design Team to Transform Culture,” Maggie McKosky outlined seven steps design leaders can take to propel design transformation and design thinking at their organization:
- Unify stakeholders
- Establish shared vocabulary
- Create systems, processes and infrastructure that empower teams to do their best work
- Establish a designer toolkit
- Maintain team culture
- Cultivate connection and continued learning
- Celebrate wins
#3 Adopt Collaborative Design Thinking
Teams are the core mechanism for cultivating change in an organization. Without teamwork and collaboration, organizations fail to find common vision and fill their own gaps. Everyone has a blind spot — organizations that want to effectively and sustainably innovate must learn to address their own blind spots through teamwork.
Discussing Design: Improving Communication and Collaboration through Critique
Collaboration is about harnessing the power of intersecting perspectives toward a common goal. Intentional and strategic critique is a critical aspect of effective collaboration. In this excellent design-thinking resource, Adam Connor and co-author Aaron Irizarry offer tools, techniques and a framework for helping teams avoid common “critique pitfalls” so they can give and receive critique for positive outcomes.
Cultivate Buy-In for Design Thinking by Achieving Rapid, Low-Cost Results
Ryan Spanswick and Deanna Dial presented on five ways innovators within established companies can use lightweight design thinking techniques to rapidly glean important insights on users and their experiences.
These rapid, low-cost results generate buy-in, proving to the organization that design thinking is worth the investment.
5 Tools for Fostering Practical Innovation
Ignite your organization on a path to innovative culture and design transformation. Simple skills, from guerilla research to helpful sketching exercises, can be easily learned and taught for wide impact across an organization.
These 5 design thinking methods prove innovation doesn’t have to be costly or burdensome.
>>Access tools and ready-to-use templates. Download Deanna and Ryan’s 2019 IQPC Design Thinking conference presentation and field manual.