Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
5.b 2/2: Strengthening the design capabilities of professional organisations in a complex world
Friday, 21/Jun/2019:
2:00pm - 3:40pm

Session Chair: Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer
Session Chair: Rebecca Price
Location: LDN.0.17 & 0.18
Ground floor Loughborough University London 60 capacity

Session Abstract

To be able to address the complex nature of today’s societal and economic problems, professional organisations recognise that traditional tools and approaches may not provide the required solutions. To innovate on complex challenges, many have turned to design approaches over the past decade, including both public (Bason, 2010) and private sector organisations. To increase design capabilities, these organisations have established innovation labs with designers, have recruited designers in strategic positions, and/or have started building the design capabilities of existing staff through educational programs, often provided by design consultancies.
So far there is limited evidence of the impact of design capability building within these sectors, although many seem to agree that workshops and short courses in design thinking do not lead to the required change. Furthermore, capability building programs do not always seem to build on contemporary educational and social theories of workplace learning, which highlight the social and complex nature of how professionals learn (Hager, 2011; Orlikowski, 2002).
This situation is further complicated by the fact that design for complex societal problems differs from traditional design practices, and should be adapted to the needs of this ‘target field’ (Buchanan, 2015; Dorst ,2015). What is it then that professional organisations learn from design? And how can design capability be increased in these organisations (see e.g. Price, Wrigley, & Matthews, 2018)? In this track we are inviting contributions about increasing design capability and workplace learning within organisations. Topics include but are not limited to:
● Case studies of capability building in design in public/private innovation
● Theories of transdisciplinary design pedagogy & workplace learning
● Learning between organisations through networks and communities of practice
● Required adaptations of design practices to the public/private sector

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2:00pm - 2:25pm

Applying design thinking in a hierarchical organisation

Sonya J. Close-Debais, Judy H. Matthews

Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Many large financial services organisations are seeking to develop their employees’ design capability to develop innovative customer solutions. Yet, there appears limited understanding on how individual employees (without a background in design) view the relationship of design thinking to innovation. This study investigates how employees perceive design thinking and its potential link to drive innovative practices within a large Australian multinational financial services organisation. An exploratory qualitative approach used face-to face semi-structured interviews with diverse participants from across the organisation. A modified existing design capability framework was used to map each individual’s perspectives and illustrate the organisation’s current DT and innovation capacity. Findings from this study contribute new insights regarding employee perceptions and design capability requirements.

Track 5.b-Applying design thinking in a hierarchical organisation-299Close-Debais_a.pdf

2:25pm - 2:50pm

The Organization as a Prototype

Niya Stoimenova1, Sander Stomph2, Christine de Lille3

1TU Delft, Netherlands, The; 2KLM Royal Dutch Airlines; 3The Hague University of Applied Sciences

Some of the most valuable companies in the world accumulated their fortunes as a result of a business model innovation built upon matured technologies. Now the majority of them are investing and shifting their focus to the development of new technologies such as AI, blockchain and genetic editing. If an organization is to remain profitable, it needs to be able to quickly adjust its structure to the rapidly changing context. We contend that a way to do so is to build an organizational structure that is conductive to both generative and evaluative prototypes. We report on our action research with a leading European airline following the transformation of a team of four into a new department, through the lenses of continuous prototyping. We then propose an initial framework that conceptualises organizational prototypes and provides a rational and systematic way of approaching the devising of such. Finally, we outline several directions for further research.

Track 5.b-The Organization as a Prototype-327Stoimenova_a.pdf

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