To transform a corporate culture requires the changing of individual and collective behavior. One of the greatest values of design thinking is how it does both. The power of the collective imagination of employees, coupled with the Pull Factor and design thinking at scale is simply amazing. It can have a great impact on an organization, and how it contributes to greater collaboration and innovation, regardless of its size. Ultimately, if nurtured and developed properly, can help create cultures of innovation.
In our new book Innovation by Design Edgar Papke and I provide insight into the various forms that organizational cultures will take, and identify a set of 12 Culture Keys; human elements and strategic tools through which cultures are influenced.
The 12 Culture Keys provide the framework for defining culture and are the key traits that are critical to guide the implementation of design thinking in a way that the culture will accept, implement, integrate, and embed. In other words, the more an organization and its leaders understand the culture keys and their influence, the better they are able to align the implementation of design thinking at scale and get the results they’re looking for. We used the 12 Culture Keys as part of the interview discussion guides in doing research for this book.
The 12 Culture Keys include:
– Power and influence
– Planning and goal setting
– Problem solving
– Decision making
– Conflict management
– Incentive and reward
– Role definition
– Customer interface
– Aligned values
Design thinking changes how people work together and therefore will influence the culture they work in. By combing the culture keys with design thinking, we see two important mechanisms at work. The first is the influence of several of the attributes of design thinking organizations we identified, including; cultural awareness, the right problems, open spaces, co-creation, whole communication, and design thinking at scale.
The second are the culture keys and how they are being affected by the attributes of design thinking including influence, problem solving, decision making, conflict management, role definition, teamwork and customer interface. Understanding how they are applied is an important ingredient to success.
We share much more about this phenomenon in Innovation by Design. The book is the result of over 70 interviews with some of the leading design thinking organizations on the planet, including 3M, AMP, Autodesk, Deutsche Telecom, GE, IBM, Intuit, Kaiser, Lego, Marriott, Philips, SAP, Visa, Wells Fargo, The Hunger Project, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the #1 ranked restaurant in the world, Eleven Madison Park, among others.
Cultures of innovation don’t just happen, they are designed.