To increase organisational creativity, you may need solutions for developing the per­for­mance of your design practice. Together, seven types of orga­ni­sational com­pe­tency deter­mine this per­for­mance. Steering to strengthen these com­pe­ten­cies as a whole leads to a better performance.

There are three ways to steer per­for­mance develop­ment. And there are three ways to strengthen orga­ni­sa­tional com­pe­ten­cies as well. Furthermore, already known concepts can be used to create tailor-made solutions.


Steer performance development

You can steer the development of the performance of your design practice as follows:

  • Direct
    • Set goals for performance development.
    • Determine coherent rules for achieving goals.
    • Provide facilities to achieve goals.
  • Manage
    • Make a plan for ideas to achieve all goals together.
    • Measure execution effects using multiple indicators.
    • Draw lessons from executing the plan.
  • Facilitate
    • Coach people to achieve goals.
    • Guide people how to achieve goals.
    • Support people to act and take responsibility.

Strengthen organisational competencies

An organisational competency is something an organisation needs to excel and remain competitive. Seven types can be distinguished, akin to the internal factors in the McKinsey 7S Model:

  • Strategy
    What is the plan of designers to accomplish design goals?
  • Structure
    How is design managed and what are the responsibilities of designers?
  • Systems
    What are the processes and procedures of design? (These form the basis of daily activities that designers execute and indicate how they make design decisions.)
  • Style
    What is the example that leaders give and how do they approach design?
  • Specialisms
    What are the specialisms of designers and their management?
  • Skills
    What are the talents and capabilities of designers and their management?
  • Shared values
    What are the accepted values, norms, and standards for designers and their management?
Seven organisational competencies

To strengthen organisational competencies, there are three ways:

  • Broaden
    Acquire an organisational competency:
    • read (if explicit) or study (if implicit),
    • watch or observe (if tacit and learned),
    • try or recruit (if tacit and innate).
  • Improve
    Make an organisational competency better:
    • reformulate (if explicit) or reflect (if implicit),
    • exercise or practice (if tacit and learned),
    • refine or recruit (if tacit and innate).
  • Diffuse
    Share an organisational competency:
    • publish (if explicit) or teach (if implicit),
    • coach or show (if tacit and learned),
    • try or recruit (if tacit and innate).

Concepts to create solutions

Already known concepts can be used to create a tailor-made solution. For example:

  • Improve user experience
    Explore user experiences, discover user motives, and define user requirements (e.g., see the Interaction Design Foundation).
  • Increase speed of delivery
    Turbocharge design processes, speed up internal feedback loops, and improve handoffs (e.g., for product design, see Invision Inside Design).
  • Reduce exposure to complexity
    Recognise and remove overly complex content, organise knowledge, and filter content (e.g., see UX Collective).
  • Embrace multi-disciplinarity
    Form multi-disciplinary design teams, further knowledge integration, and implement decision-making through consensus (e.g., see ResearchGate).
  • Align design with business
    Describe design work in terms of business goals, collect evidence, and communicate the business value of design (e.g., see BoagWorld).
  • Promote design thinking
    Demonstrate desired behaviours, provide motivators, and recognise and acknowledge displayed behaviours (e.g., see 7Geese).
  • Manage design knowledge
    Set goals, determine ground rules, and provide facilities to produce design knowledge (e.g., for architecture, see UNStudio).
  • Manage talent pipeline
    Build up your reputation, spot talent through your network, and establish a flexible talent pipeline (e.g., see Workable).