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Step 6: Lead the Way

Step 6: Lead the Way.

We can’t offer you an exact prescription for how to structure, plan, or hire for the new era of design in your organization. Much will depend on where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you see the winds of change blowing in your industry.

Right now design is an underused asset within organizations. To achieve greater scale and impact, design must mature in step with the trends and opportunities discussed in this report. Design needs to become accountable for a functional outcome of the organization.

I would define design maturity as how well and entrenched designers are within all aspects of the business—from customer service to sales to advertising to marketing to supply chain management to R&D to IP development, etc.
A photo of student with brown skin and dark hair participating in a workshop at ID at IIT.

Design is uniquely positioned to excel at closing the gap between an organization’s vision and actual impact by proactively managing the Intent-to-Effect Pathway. Design roles need to have the dimensions necessary to support the facilitation of a vision through the Intent-to-Effect Pathway. The four future role descriptions shared in this report, can support you in planning for both future hires and training opportunities connected to these recommended roles.

This report has also offered insight on what it will take to truly scale design for maximum value and impact within organizations. Using the Flywheel of Design to create momentum will require aligned and focused force. Any internal misalignments with this flywheel will act as brakes on your organization’s ability to scale design. So, be measured about how to engage and where to start. It’s most important to engage with consistency, as consistent action over time will build momentum. That momentum will 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.