DESIGN PROGRAMS : service
(w/ Design Council, Prospect & Instill, 2003 - 2013)
Problem: Across Europe, design was a word that meant everything and nothing to managers in both the private and public sectors. There was no coherent understanding of how design might be used as a strategic business tool. The fundamental issue each of these programs (Designing Demand in the UK, Humin in Belgium and Design Bulldozer in Estonia) faced was to get managers over their resistance to looking at design as anything more than the cosmetic application of aesthetics.
The programs were based upon the premise that the best way to get non-designers to understand design was to have them go through the design process. This meant practical programs would have to be created that met the business needs of the organizations invited to participate, in order to achieve a much greater take-up of design overall.
Solution: The foundation of each program was in the thinking and methods of people centered design. Participating organizations of all stripes were matched with experienced local designers who could coach them through the design process as applied to the real issues they faced.
Over the course of the 18-24 month program duration, participating companies were immersed in the design process and provided the expert support needed to see their projects through to realization.
Each program built upon the success of the previous one. As more organizations went through the process, the better the process became.
Impact: The most significant benefit was to the bottom lines of participating organizations. Each pound or Euro spent on design activities led to a 25x increase in turnover and a 2x increase in profits. In the case of public services, CSAT scores doubled. Design thinking became an integral part of organizational strategy and big shifts in culture were seen as a result.