Understanding, Identifying and driving Design-led Innovation Capability in Large Organisations

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
2016, pp. 697 - 720
Issue Date:
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Corporations are exploring innovations by changing from a product push towards a service or experience model. To enable this transformation, programs to construct design thinking are being deployed across many organisations to drive innovation practices and ultimately sustainable growth. Yet, there is limited understanding on how individual employees view design, how it is being employed and the relationship of design thinking to innovation. This paper aims to investigate how employees (non-designers) within a large financial services corporation recognise the possibilities of design and its link to drive innovative practices and how design is being adopted. The paper builds on an audit undertaken of Design Thinking programmes rolled out across the large financial services organisation in Australia, in addition to thirty-one (31) semi-structured interviews conducted with employees across various levels of hierarchy. The results suggest that deploying design and innovation programmes across an organisation does not automatically result in significant innovative outcomes. Instead, design is linked to incremental innovation and internal process improvement at best, with limited effect on the strategic issues. The findings provide insights into employees’ experiences with applying design-led approaches and the barriers required to be overcome in order to achieve a different outcome in the business.
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