Design management / Design leadership / Design thinking

How to connect design management with your corporate culture?

Design Ladder is a model where companies are classified into four categories, depending on their use of design: + from no use of design; + to design as style; + to design as process, and the most advanced ladder + design as a strategy. That last kind of organisations design innovators and market leaders.

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If you are a listener rather than a reader here is the audio post: Corporate Design Strategies and Branding presentation at the WBPC10: Post series 8 (.mp3; 2,4 MB)

How to connect design management with your corporate culture?

In the model Design Management Staircase at the picture below there is a range presented from an immature level of design management to a level where design management is of a strategic nature and part of the company’s culture. At highly driven design corporations they have a differentiation strategy where design is at their core. Those kinds of corporations are market leaders through design innovation. If a company wants to be a market leader it needs to have design as part of its strategic plans and design planning should be a dynamic process that drives the business. However, not every company needs to focus its strategy on the role of design as a driving force of innovation. It depends on the nature of the organization, its market position, or its strategy. In some cases it may be sufficient for a company to be on the level of design management as a function or even as a project
Slide presenting stairs/levels of design management as part of the corporate culture
Nevertheless the usage of design is valuable information. In Denmark they researched their companies according to a model called Design Ladder where companies were classified into four categories:

  1. no use of design,
  2. design as style,
  3. design as process, and
  4. design as a strategy.

And in general they found out that the higher the use of design in an organization the higher its gross performance.

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Audio post:  Corporate Design Strategies and Branding presentation at the WBPC10: Post series 8 (.mp3; 2,4 MB)

Sources: Literature (updated)

Marko Savić
I’m raising awareness of the connection of business model innovation with design thinking. Have just published a book on business models design. You may wish to meet me in person at my next workshop or interact with me on Twitter.

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Workshop: Business model design: Wien

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2 thoughts on “How to connect design management with your corporate culture?

  1. Hi! Glad to have found this blog!

    Is the design ladder model you have an image of your own extention of the Danish Design Center’s version? Or where can I find the original source?

    best,
    Lotta

    Like

    • @matka2000: The image in this blog post presents the model Design Management Staircase from the: Kootstra, Gert L. 2009. The incorporation of design management in today’s business practises: An analysis of design management practises in Europe. Design Management Europe: ADMIRE programme, 63 p.

      Like

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