Deep Transformations - From Style to Substance

We have spoken about the value of creative leadership in enabling a design-centric approach to innovation and new business development, so it's also useful to look at how to embed this people-centric perspective in the organisation to really transform the everyday reality. We have all been there: coming home to our desk from an inspiring workshop and learning experience - only to realise that we have been to a foreign planet that our co-workers will quickly help us forget ever existed. There are ways to keep this new mindset alive e.g. as described in this article, but many organisations are making bolder steps to embed a design thinking culture in their organisations.

There are different models that will depend on a level of cultural and strategic maturity that is able to absorb new management paradigms, see here for an interesting report from Roland Berger called "Design Thinking on every level" that shows how to support a new way of strategic decision making. Along these lines - and also something that is happening at Discovery Health locally - I also came across an approach by Deutsche Telekom that seeks to expose every staff member to the principles of Design Thinking to create a shared language and ways of working when practicing people-centric innovation.

And then again - possibly because being faced by extinction helps - we are seeing the most interesting experiments in the financial services space that have led the experts at IESE Business School and Oliver Wyman to release a report about "Design Thinking - The new DNA of the Financial Sector". Already in 2014 things started getting more design-centric in financial services when Capital One bank acquired a famous design firm called Adaptive Path to import this mindset into their business - apparently with some success. Recently we have seen Commerzbank in Germany set up an internal design agency - in Berlin with a smaller business interface team in Frankfurt - called Neugelb that drives most of the strategic design & innovation projects.

A great way to start your journey is outlined in this report by Fjord - but please also get in touch should you also want to start getting serious about Design Thinking in your organisation.