Design can be introduced in a bottom up or top down

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Design can be introduced in a bottom-up or top-down fashion, and that might mean different things in different organizational cultures. For example, one client was convinced that design thinking and practice could not be successfully mandated and therefore looked for a way of introducing design from the bottom up, pushing from the project team level to general management and then to senior leadership. This is the viral approach mentioned earlier. Another client, conversely, came to the conclusion that design culture must be actively driven top-down from the senior levels of the organization, with accountability to this goal from each subsequent level. There is no single correct approach. The success of onboarding any kind of cultural change relies on a solution specific and appropriate to that organization. Tony Golsby-Smith, who founded 2nd Road, has identified thirteen key organizational systems that can be positively influenced by design and that will together make a design transformation possible. Many of these systems function as distinct departmental functions in large organizations, such as marketing, human resources, information technology and project management; other systems include cross-business functions such as planning, rewards, and risk management. Golsby-Smith argues that these systems must all be addressed in order to allow the uptake of design practice to be successful. What this means is that embedding design in organizations requires a broad, holistic and systemic approach. If design is to be sustainable and productive, it cannot be penned in by traditional silos or limited to lower levels of organizational hierarchy. Furthermore, design seems to be at its most effective in an organizational context where it has focused equally on process and outcomes, where design becomes the focus of improving customer experience and providing a strong methodology for problem solving. The balancing of process and outcome is critical. With too much emphasis on process we can lose sight of keeping design agile, scalable and focused. With too much emphasis on outcomes, we quickly revert to efficiency-driven behaviours that undermine meaningful, effective solutions and value creation. This balancing act becomes a critical tool for organizations to prioritize and evaluate their efforts and keep actively moving toward growth opportunities. In this way, design can help organizations get better at evaluating and adjusting strategies in real time. Design Practice in Organizations 195
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One of the organizations 2nd Road worked with to install internal design capability is Suncorp (mentioned above). Suncorp s Executive Manager of Design, Peter Vozvoteca, made the following observations about the organizational benefits they began to realize several years into the programme: Apart from the obvious skills gained, I have found that people are beginning to think differently. Their approach to projects is different. People now have confidence to push back and ask the tough questions such as, What is the real problem we are solving? Are we are jumping to solution-mode too soon?
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