The state of design
Among the first steps in infiltrating an organization with a human-centric design focus is to take stock of the current decision-making process. Does your org follow a traditional top down waterfall methodology? To what extent is tour design team in control over your process and how you spend you day-to-day? Does tour organization have a c-suite design hire?
How an organization operates is the first component of understanding where and how to introduce the design process. The most obvious starting point is in your own work and those immediately around you. Do you have autonomy to self govern your work? Infusing design thinking into your workflow is often more difficult that one might imagine — largely due to the complexity of existing organization bureaucracy and having to make a case for why a team should change its operating procedures.
Know your value
A prerequisite of all great designers entering into industry is to embrace the full extent of our designer mind. We are far more valuable than might meet the eye — our systems thinking minds hold invaluable strength as it relates to our ability to create meaningful change. Knowing our value is the beginning of create cosmic brushfires within organizations and the electrifying element of all great design influencers.
Infiltrating as an influencer
Upending an existing organizing framework is a daunting task. You can’t do it on your own. The starting point for creating such a shift in the organization is to forge alliances with stakeholders, suggesting the full value of design and getting them to use the techniques in their own work (design thinking).
“The true value of a design influencer is to systemically view the organization as a living entity.”
Creating a strategic action plan
Building an action plan for your designer influence will set your work on a clear path.
Harbor design thinking | Your actions as a design are intoxicating. The very work you do Day in and day out pulls people closer to your way of thinking (designer mind)
Establish stakeholder alliances | Building a network of stakeholders across the organization will set you up for long term success. Togetherness (shared ownership) is a leading factor when it comes to sign off and approval from key roadmap decision-makers.
Run design-based workshops | Setting up brown bag sessions within your team is a powerful way to introduce people to the framing of design.
Hold micro design challenges | Making space for teams to engage in micro-design challenges. This is an opportunity for people to experiment with new ways of working — the first step to organizational transformation.
Empower teams to take a design Pledge | A powerful way to create team-based change is to garner enthusiasm to reimagine their work. Creating an initiative that supports the practice of design can help spread the awareness and put positive pressure on teams to make a similar commitments.
Go forthward and thrive!