Use the design process to accelerate progress
Design is a skill that takes practice. But, be assured, we are not suggesting that your managers become designers. What we are suggesting is that your managers use a design-led approach to engage their teams and tap into the creative potential of their people.
One way to do this is to form a Design Team and get them to implement a design process initiative. Ideally such a team should be made up of a diverse range of skills, opinions and viewpoints. From a business change perspective, you should be ideally looking for a blend of frontline experts, experts at scaling (e.g. marketers, HR, IT) and those with an eye for innovation.
There are many design process models your Design Team might employ, but they all have a number of common themes. Here's one approach that you might think about using:
1. Confirm strategic intent
Choose a positive goal. Ensure it is aligned to your overall strategy and that it will have a real impact on either your customer or your team. Provide direction, resources and commitment to show your serious about hitting this target.
Gather data. Talk to people. Understand and empathise with unmet needs. Look for patterns and insights. Question assumptions and scope.
Experiment and explore opportunities. Explain, sketch and bring your ideas to life. Envision the future and feed off each other's creativity.
Think big, act small. Build the minimum viable product. Fail fast and learn from mistakes. Learn from users. Refine and improve.
Test, approve and launch. Set up feedback mechanisms and monitor the results.
6. Iterate and scale
Take what you've learned and make the most of it. Find new ways to use your design, or find new opportunities to exploit.