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The 5 Urgent Challenges

How Design Leads Organizations through Five Urgent Challenges

Five urgent organizational challenges that organizations face today call out for the attributes designers bring to every strategic endeavor.

Designers and design leaders are agile, creative people who use partnerships (systems thinking skills and collaborations) and good design practice (effective working methods) to realize executive vision and facilitate an efficient process through the functions of the organization.

ID Report Graphic Number 1

Organizations need to work at speed.
Design makes speed possible.

• Prototype everything.
• Embrace the qualitative strengths of design.
• Promote design’s ability to identify ethical issues and biases before it’s too late.

ID Report Graphic Number 2

Organizations need systems thinkers.
Design thinks in systems.

• Anticipate stakeholder interests.
• Pay attention to timing and advocacy.
• Promote humanity-centered design.

ID Report Graphic Number 3

Organizations need facilitators.
Design translates, facilitates, collaborates.

• Forge alliances and collaborate effectively.
• Strive for collective accountability and collaboration from all members of the organization.
• Convey value through tangible evidence.

ID Report Graphic Number 4

Organizations need new metrics.
Design balances quantitative and qualitative measures.

• Be data-informed, building trust through evidence.
• Keep qualitative impacts in mind, with an eye toward human and financial outcomes.

ID Report Graphic Number 5

Organizations need to demonstrate their values.
Design leads with purpose.

• Insist on diversity.
• Maximize the potential of designers within your organization.

Aerial view of city.
We all want to generate value for a set of stakeholders. We want to be responsible not for reckless growth, but responsible value. So it becomes a question of—how are we contributing to that?
—Kevin Bethune, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, DREAMS · DESIGN + LIFE

Peter Zapf stands in the ID outside courtyard

Peter Zapf

Director of Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives

Are you interested in understanding where design is heading next? Let’s think together.

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