Everywhere you turn these days, companies are being challenged to transform, innovate and think like a designer.
The problem is it’s not an easy undertaking to change the way a large organization operates. Real initiative gets bogged down in politics, hierarchical thinking and institutional inertia. Change requires more than inspiration. It takes hard work — and often the skill of a used car salesman to sell your idea to a reluctant C suite.
Some companies have forward-looking leaders who encourage this type of behavior. I wrote recently about Vishal Sikka’s attempts to instill design thinking at Infosys. Sikka seems to understand the value of getting his employees to shift their thinking and be idea-driven. More often though, these types of proposals are driven from the bottom up, and in these instances it’s much more challenging to convince the ‘Powers That Be’ to implement a radical idea.
It’s up to motivated employees to try and figure out how to navigate this thorny path. The innovators also need to understand, it can’t just be about cool ideas or change for change’s sake. It has to drive real business value, help sell more products, get customers more interested and have a measurable impact on the bottom line.