Implementing Design Thinking 4: It is a Full Time Activity!
This happens all the time.
After a game-changing workshop, where a whole host of innovative ideas underpinned by ethnographic research get plotted on an actionable plan, I call back a few months later to find out that nothing has happened.
“I believe we’ll have to have them full time, or else they’ll get sucked back into their ‘day jobs’. If we are going to make the skunkworks successful, then the participants need to be full time.”
Innovation requires a mental space to make it happen. What many organizations do instead is to assign the execution of the required changes to executives as something extra to do, something on top of their day job. Innovation then becomes an extra-curricular activity that cannot be prioritized over daily work. Firefighting problems are just too hard to ignore.
If you want results from Design Thinking assign someone to champion this, or anyone that will and can do this full time. Going one better would be to set up an innovation department with a mandate of making “X” number of Design Thinking projects happen in a year.
Implementing Design Thinking is a (not so) regular series of posts, where I share my thoughts and experiences in helping companies implement Design as a tool for business success and achieving Design Leadership. Check out the rest of my articles here.
Brian is the Founder and Design Director at Design Sojourn, a Design Led Innovation Consultancy. He is a multi-award winning design leader, and specialises in strategic design and innovation programs that drive successful organisations. Brian’s 20-year career in design, driven through a deep understanding of human behavior, spans over multiple domains such as consumer electronics, government, healthcare, non-profit agencies, hospitality, F&B, retail, online solutions and best in class service experiences.