Design practice in organizations 189 valuing design s

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Design Practice in Organizations 189 Valuing Design s Intrinsic Benefits Regardless of what a company makes as its product, there is a value in taking
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design approaches inside the organization. In an intrinsic context, the design outcomes are defined by successful working relationships, stakeholder support and agreement, more robust problem solving, more effective outcomes, and more humanistic values espoused by the organization. These may have either a direct or an indirect influence on an organization s products or outputs, but they have deep influence either way. Because design approaches encourage a quest for quality and dignity in both process and outcomes, this benefits both employees and customers. Design encourages pride in not only what we make but in how we make it. Design approaches insist that we engage with a problem holistically and honestly and provide the impetus for more disciplined thinking and decision-making important tools for good strategy and management. Specific qualities characterize the intrinsic benefits of design. Because these are humanistic qualities, they have both an organizational and an individual or personal dimension that should not necessarily be seen as distinct. It is worth noting that these same qualities are often those cited in corporate mission statements, but very often ring hollow for employees who know that they are abstractions that are often at odds with organizational systems and culture. The following list may not be exhaustive, but it captures the strongest and most typical intrinsic outcomes of participation in design. Engagement Engagement is the active participation and connection among staff, customers, and management with the organization and its purpose. It fosters energy, motivation, and buy-in to organizational challenges. Ethos Ethos is the collective ownership of specific values driven by habitual adherence to certain goals and practices. Ethos embodies knowing what s important and what we care about as an organization. Collaboration Collaboration is people thinking, working, and solving problems together, in a way that they actively create new knowledge together. It is often confused with other types of consultative teamwork that do not require true conversation and sharing. 190 Design, Management and the Organization Vision Vision is both literal and figurative, in that visualization techniques can allow people to see and develop an aspirational future state. Also, by visualizing the future, people develop a shared and unified concept of where their goals will lead. Coherence and Alignment Coherence and alignment reflect the clarity and consistency of organizational strategy and action. They require that we all think and act strategically in concert. Design raises persistent questions about purpose, which forces ongoing alignment of intent and action.
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Accountability Accountability is the linkage between people and results; it reinforces a sense of discipline and encourages processes that ensure that problems, especially customer problems, are identified and addressed.
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