“We should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it.”—Michio Kaku
Inclusiveness, diversity, and belonging in the workplace have become essential parts of a ubiquitous, ever-present ideology for organizations. Diversity and inclusion are quickly moving to the top of organizations’ lists of priorities because of the value they add. Not only do they contribute to creating a happier, more discretionary, and productive workforce, they also improve the organizations’ financial performance, as multiple studies have reported.
Still, one of the biggest challenges we face today is creating a diverse and inclusive environment for the workforce. Achieving true diversity and inclusion takes more than a training video or a session about being polite to coworkers. Many reputed organizations have been taking measures across multiple fronts—including hiring, promotions, opportunities, behavior, and more—to instill, improve, and constantly monitor these principles. Awareness of the business case for inclusion and diversity is on the rise. While social justice is typically the initial impetus behind these efforts, companies have increasingly begun to regard inclusion, diversity, and belonging as a source of competitive advantage—and more specifically, as a key enabler of growth. Read More
Recently, a group of about 30 technologists invited us to run a two-day client training workshop to teach them some best practices for making meaningful work and help them to kick start and sustain a UX practice on their projects. These technologists had limited exposure to User Experience or practice with design tools. In other words, we needed to help them get excited about the topic, understand what it means for them, and give them some capabilities that would let them take at least some of this program forward—even after only two days of training together.
Facilitating workshops is always a nice challenge—especially with a new group of participants—because you must generally be well versed in the topic, study new practices, and prepare exercises to help participants understand and embody their learnings, using the prescribed tools. For us, it’s also really important that the participants have a good time during the workshop—as they step outside their own day-to-day work routines and job functions—and that we can provide at least a touch of inspiration. Our intent is to get participants to express themselves and open up conversations on how they can mix tools and processes in various ways to help them understand what users need and, most importantly, gain clarity on requirements as a path to better design. Read More
Shifting trends are forcing technology companies to reimagine their value proposition. IBM has chosen to create disruption through design. In embracing the future, the company is essentially invoking its past. Back in 1956, IBM was the first large company to establish a corporate-wide design program. But this time, the company’s goals are more ambitious.
Recently, we interviewed Karel Vredenburg, Director of IBM Design’s worldwide client program and head of IBM Studios in Canada, who told us, “We’ve put everything into this transformation.” The company is investing more than $100 million in becoming design centered. Read More