Blog: Managing Design Transformation

10 May 2013

Lisa Cresswell

This post is written by Lisa Cresswell. An excerpt of this was first posted in Feb 2013 in the designnewfutures web space. You can find out more about Lisa and the team at designnewfutures or follow them on twitter or facebook.

A whole city aware of the pace of pending transformation equates to both an exciting and challenging space. Pending transformation, in any context, asks us as individuals and organisations to consider our respective futures – to consider the unknown, and question how we may transition into this space.

If we are to capitalise on the opportunity that this new space offers, we are challenged to consider how we will respond and manage this change. Interlinked with this change is risk, and subsequently risk management – this is a natural and appropriate response in mitigating for the unknown. But as we undertake the process of risk management – do we give ourselves enough space to be curious, challenging and playful in the process of shaping our future, or is this simply perceived as a greater risk? Do enough of these spaces truly exist and do our existing and emerging networks value and invest in building these safe spaces to challenge how we take risks?

In discussion with SME’s it is clear that whilst the pace of business continues, the landscape it operates in is currently (and probably permanently) in a state of transition. The social aspects of business – networking, conversation and occasionally collaboration – remain core aspects of how businesses connect and discuss their collective futures. However, it is questioned if, within this, there is opportunity to form new partnerships, ones that are borne out of engaging and playful conversations that consider alternative and brighter futures for the business economy. Is this our opportunity to invest in forming new partnerships that are not based on diversifying or diluting existing business – but instead building exciting future business portfolios?

How we manage our transformation – will be how we shape our future business.

As a designer, my passion lies in working with businesses and organisations to develop the way they use design strategically to deliver their objectives. As a PhD researcher with the Design in Action project, my research explores how designed knowledge exchange catalyses opportunity space.

The opportunity to be part of Design in Action is the opportunity to be part of something that explores and demonstrates designs strategic capability.

Design in Action as a project is set to deliver measurable positive impact on business in the Scottish economy, and the project will support transformation in the perception of design’s relationship and role within the business sector. Being part of something with these objectives is tremendously exciting. I’m lucky enough to be able to explore the space that the Design in Action project offers as a PhD candidate.