Lead with Purpose

Lead with Purpose

2020 IIT Institute of Design Report

Design’s central role in realizing executive vision





Design—not why, but how?

Uncovering the changes design needs to make in order to maximize its promised value to organizations.

Grasp two vital, urgent truths about design—and what they mean for your organization

The ID Pathways Study identified two essential truths about design today. Grasping them will help you make the most of design’s role in your organization—and give you competitive edge. 

Embracing design for competitive advantage requires understanding and serving not only the customer and the customer’s world, but also one’s own colleagues and organization.

p. 15

Map your pathway from Intent to Effect.

How to integrate design competencies throughout your organization in order to achieve a desired effect.


An organization’s vision


Achieving the desired outcome




Scale your design operations.

The core and consistent actions an organization needs to take to support the scaling of design operations.

Remove all barriers and pave the Intent-to-Effect Pathway within your organization.

Expanding design’s role to provide efficacious leadership on the Intent-to-Effect Pathway requires the adoption of new behaviors and competencies—always an exercise in courage.

We need to educate designers on how to create and manage impact measures on the work that they do.

p. 46

Lead the way.

Consistent action over time will build momentum and provide both the stability and energy reserve to drive sustainable growth via design over time.




One thing is for sure: design must become accountable for a function that organizations care about in order to circumvent the cycle of defending design’s worth and value. We hope this report empowers you, as a leader in your organization and of your own career, to elevate the role and function of design for the successful (and repeated) navigation from Intent to Effect within your organization—and in the world beyond.

This research was jointly initiated and undertaken through partnership with these organizations.