Behaviour of people does not change by mandate – people need space where new ways of working can be experimented. IDEO, one of the world’s leading design agencies showed us some nice examples how creative design can positively influence behavior. We visited their gorgeous office located at Pier 28 in San Francisco. For us, this office was the benchmark for a cool and inspiring office space. Looking at their key values they really walk the talk when they promise their customers to influence culture by creating space for good conversations.

Ideo - vstup

The power of spaces

Could you imagine implementing your IT service desk in an open space in the middle of your office designed like the desk of an apple store? Where IT people support their internal customers transparently and are highly appreciated by users instead of hiding IT somewhere in the dark area of an office building? What do you think about an office where the kitchen is the main communication area and once a week soup for 200 people will be prepared together, cooked and served? Each Friday when the cow bell rings all IDEO people meet for common lunch to use this time to feel the community and share ideas. Have you ever seen a restroom which is used as an intimate feedback zone, where people are asked for their opinion regarding 2-3 relevant questions. Where everybody could position his/her opinion by placing dots. By doing this, IDEO makes a permanent pulse check visible for everybody.

Toaleta- intimní místo pro obdržení otevřeného feedbacku.

Design 4 change

Although IDEO is a design agency we found a lot of similarities to our change approach. Especially with some of their principles we felt very familiar.

Top 3 principles were:

  1. People support what they create.
  2. To change behavior you have to demonstrate value from day one.
  3. Change is about creating movements instead of telling people what to do.

These are great examples where we could easily buy in. And it’s all about doing. One of IDEOs seven values says: “Talk less – do more”. In daily work this means focusing on producing prototypes or creating space for experimentation instead of producing PowerPoint slides and long discussions about theoretical concepts.
I am sure all OD and change professionals can learn a lot from a design agency in making changes visible and touchable.

Otevřené kanceláře jsou klíčem pro otevřenou komunikaci

IDEO – founded 32 years ago by the Kelly brothers – was forerunner in Design Thinking and has nowadays 10 offices worldwide. 680 people work in highly autonomous units but based on one strong purpose and a set of 7 shared values. None of the teams should be bigger than 60-70 people so a team would always fit into one bus.

Author: Manfred Höfler