7 Roles to Drive Change by Design

The authors present seven roles for change that are used to influence the development of products and services, the shape of the organisation itself and, most importantly, their ability to embrace change. These seven roles can transform organisations to be more innovative, human-centred and resilient.

Using design as a Cultural Catalyst stimulates cultures to change through a clear focus on peoples’ needs and deep empathy as a means of approaching sensitive, cultural challenges.

Using design as a Framework Maker, offers visualised and tangible markers of progress and prototypes, which help to create a pragmatic, purposeful conversation, which in turn drives the human-centred initiatives forward.

Using design as a Humaniser injects empathy into the process, creating a human dimension to the work and making business challenges easier to relate to and engage in. It also creates an approachable and inspiring change narrative centred around the purpose of serving real human needs.

Using design as a Power Broker leverages the 'perceived' independence of the design profession and its focus on the user as the ultimate reference point. This has the capacity to diffuse tensions and realign internal teams around a common goal.

Using design as a Friendly Challenger creates an environment where it is the norm to question basic assumptions, critique each-others’ work constructively and champion the search for the best possible (feasible, viable, desirable) solution.

Using design as a Technology Enabler ensures technology is useful by emphasising the usability of the systems in place in order to maximise engagement, reduce errors and increase satisfaction of the systems’ users.

Using design as a Community Builder creates conditions for the community to come together by providing a safe, open atmosphere with the users and people involved. Design provides tools and techniques that offer an instant feedback loop for the participants to respond to, in effect creating a fuel for the community to coalesce and work together.