When you’re talking about steps for innovation and growth at a company, you can't ignore culture as part of the equation. A company’s culture defines the context in which it operates, how it is perceived in the wider world and how successful it can be. It can be both an enabler as well as a hindrance at all levels within an organization, and no level is immune. IT Services have long past reached a point where it can no longer be an afterthought to product development and corporate vision with its own silo and mysterious culture. IT Services are an integral part of the modern company and the culture in which it finds and creates for itself is extremely important to the overall effectiveness of a company and its brand. IT Services solve problems and solving problems is the core of design.
"By embracing design values, IT Services has an even more tremendous role to play as part of driving innovation and growth"
A lot has been said and written lately about design-driven culture in organizations. In fact, according to a study by the Design Management Institute, over the past 10 years design-driven companies have outperformed the S&P 500 by 228 percent. Companies like Nike, Apple, IBM, Ford, and Starwood understand that design has tactical, organizational, and strategic value. Carry this understanding inward to the various parts of a company and its relationships and you see that by embracing these design values, IT Services has an even more tremendous role to play as part of driving innovation and growth. It is all part of a design culture maturity model that any company can achieve. While there is no one path to success here, there are a few patterns.
Champion the User
The most over-arching pattern is to always champion your users. What are their needs and goals? What are they trying to accomplish and how are you helping them do that? How are you hindering?
You should be defining “user” in a much broader sense and with more distinction than just a customer interacting with your apps or services. A user can also be a customer talking to a rep on the phone or in person,