Austin Design Thinking Conference
Four Key Takeaways To Stay Ahead Of The GameBy Joshua Soo, Director – Innovation and Design Strategy, The Strategy Group Design Thinking is central to many conversations at C-suite tables, corporate hallways and government chambers. Applications of Design Thinking are growing and developing as its popularity increases. It is valuable to know what’s happening in different countries in order to identify new ways to use the methodology and continuously improve on it. I recently attended the Design Thinking conference in Austin and would like to share some of the highlights for me. The annual three-day conference of 200+ attendees comprised of industry leaders and design practitioners alike. As almost all attendees came from different parts of the US many were surprised that I was the only overseas attendee and had come all the way from Down Under! Much of the thought leadership and practice of Design comes from the United States. As such, it was a privilege to rub shoulders with Design heavyweights such as John Kolko and IDEO-U; and share ‘war stories’ with the likes of LUMA Institute, Continuum, Smashing Ideas and Smart Design. Large corporates also presented on the stage, with senior executives coming from 3M, Nike, FedEx, Pearsons and AMEX Global Business Travel, to name a few. What’s the status of Design in the US compared to Australia? One noticeable difference was that the conversation in the US has moved past “unpacking the value of Design”. There was a quiet knowingness that Design delivers outcomes. This is backed by IBM research proving that design increases efficiency by 78%, speeds up market introduction by 2x and delivers 391% return on investment. This meant that the focus of the conversations throughout the conference centred on how best to make Design Thinking a day-to-day norm in order to capture and unlock new value for the organisation.
- Companies are scaling Design Thinking at an enterprise level and not just at a functional or business unit level.
- Organisations in the US have placed a greater emphasis on creativity in driving outcomes that push conventional boundaries.
- Investing in a design space to reflect new ways of working and collaborating.
- The Design sector in the US is much larger scale than Australia and is more ‘mature’ as an industry.
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