Notes on Catherine Courage’s Inspiring Design Thinking in a Predictable Corporate Culture

From a video of her MX 2013 presentation, link here.

There’s a huge mindset change going on. Products must add to people’s lives or they don’t want it–even in enterprise

Designers need to think big! Vision > mission > strategy > action plan

  • Design is becoming more and more essential to success
  • Design needs to be part of the mission of the company
  • Don’t wait for permission from above, just get started trying new things
  • Work to create world-class products that deliver exceptional customer experience

We need to evolve the business culture to embrace design thinking. To do so, design needs to be:

  1. Credible
    1. Help the business think of all types of customers
    2. Point out how real world-class organizations like Apple, Disney and the Ritz Carlton carefully design every customer touchpoint: this design thing is real!
    3. Bring in industry leaders to meet with employees and the C level folks and show how design adds value
    4. Remind folks that everyone has a customer, even if it’s just other employees. All customer journeys matter!
    5. Establish a set of principles–and make it clear you have to focus on ALL of them. Citrix’s are:
      1. Make it simple
      2. Exhibit craftsmanship
      3. Inspire delight
      4. Deliver unique value
      5. Focus on human goals
  2. Relatable
    1. Find stories about other organizations’ successful culture change across all touchpoints, like Virgin Air
    2. Collaborate with outside organizations to help educate employees
      1. Reach out to lead folks in all branches of the business and education THEM–then they can evangelize on your behalf
    3. Take time to do internal education as well
  3. Visible across the organization
    1. Create a catchphrase and roll it out with everything. Citrix uses Design Matters to Me
    2. Create a blog site about cool things happening in the industry
    3. Insert design into existing newsletters and corp comm
    4. Openly celebrate design wins across the org–maybe the CEO can give awards etc
    5. Establish “design days” when anyone can come by and learn what’s happening in design
    6. Find the highest-level stakeholders and spend time with them, make sure they understand what’s happening, why it’s important, and why they should continue to invest in it

As products are improved in the enterprise, other people will come forward and want to partner with design also–be ready to start driving more projects!

Collaborate with facilities to create more open, flexible design spaces for all employees to use

Partner with HR to create great on boarding etc

Consider creating customer on boarding also to help ensure their success


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