Designing for Change
“Change always starts with a small group of passionate people. These people often challenge the status quo. Over time, they attract and mobilize more people. Eventually, they gain enough support and momentum to achieve lasting change.”
—Bryan Walker, IDEO Partner and Managing Director
Designing for Change
No matter what industry you’re in, no matter where you sit in an organization, change can come from you. Learn how to create a movement to catalyze change in your organization or network by mobilizing people around a shared purpose. Follow the human-centered approach to creating change that IDEO's been honing over the past decade. Big change starts small, and lasting change is within your reach.
In this course, you’ll collaborate with a global community of learners from diverse industries to push your learning, share and receive feedback and resources, and develop long-term connections.
Introduction Explore how movements can lead to lasting change within teams, organizations, and society at large.
- An overview of creating movements through mobilizing people, taking action, and growing change.
- Discussion: What does designing for change mean? Can movements happen within and across an organization? What might that look like?
- Activity: Craft your change statement.
Mobilize People Learn how effective movements start and how to frame your change in a way that resonates.
- Frame your change in a compelling, human-centered way and start building a coalition of co-conspirators.
- Discussion: Have you ever felt like you were swimming upstream trying to change something? Did anything/anyone help you change course?
- Activity: Frame your change around the needs of the people the change is in service of and the people driving the change.
Take Action Start small and show tangible progress through beacons for change.
- Co-creation is key to the success of beacons. People support what they create, so inviting them into the process is a great way to build momentum.
- Discussion: When have you seen a symbol of change that made you want to join in? Or, when have you seen a symbol catalyze movements in the world?
- Activity: Prototype your beacon for change.
Growing Change Learn to sustain change by redesigning the conditions that support it and to spreading the word through storytelling.
- Something has to give (or evolve) within the system to support the change, and friction often reveals the conditions that you'll need to evolve.
- Discussion: When was a time you experienced friction? What was the source of the friction and what needed to evolve to support the change?
- Activity: Write the story of your prototype.
About the Course Community
Learn from IDEO Partner Bryan Yuji Walker
Bryan Yuji Walker is a Partner and Managing Director at IDEO San Francisco. He leads the Design for Change studio, helping leaders transform their organizations’ cultures and businesses in pursuit of innovation, adaptability, and impact.
An IDEO veteran, Bryan is curious about the future of work and how design can affect and support change within complex human systems. Together with his clients, he’s exploring what corporate leaders can learn from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists; how technology, a new generation of employees, and a shifting marketplace is redefining the workplace experience; and how leaders can drive change by movement as opposed to mandates.
Bryan earned a master’s degree in social anthropology from Oxford University and a bachelor’s degree in design and environmental analysis from Cornell. Outside the office, he can be found chasing the perfect wave.
Why Take Designing for Change
Create change through influence rather than authority. Whether you’re hoping to shift the culture of your team, business, community, or beyond, the tools from this course offer you a universal approach to change.
Change within organizations is typically thought of as a top-down approach in which leaders use their authority to redesign incentives, processes, policies, and structure. While this approach can be effective, it carries the risk of losing the hearts and minds of the very people who need to embody the change and make it happen. Learn tactics for how design can help bring people together to realize positive change and evolve culture.
This Course Will Help You
- Grow your organization’s capacity for change through movements not mandates.
- Create sustainable change in your team, organization, or community.
- Mobilize people who are enthusiastic about the change you’re working toward.
- Build momentum for your cause by starting small and creating tangible wins that show progress toward your change.
- Sustain your change by redesigning the conditions that support it and spreading the word through storytelling.
- Keep those your change is in service of at the center of your actions and decisions.
“This course gives you a vision of the power to change things. With a little order, structure, and know-how to disseminate an idea well, you can change an entire organization. You can also implement these methods in your own life, with your own challenges.”
Business Process Officer, COFIDES Spain
“I love the human-centred approach to problem solving that permeates throughout IDEO. The problem-solving techniques I've taken from this course fit perfectly with any technical or social problem I can imagine and any of my team or fellow problem solvers will benefit. Top quality course. Loved it!”
Managing Director, The Project Lab
“This course really brought something new, that I hadn't read in any book, blog, or article before, which actually surprised me a little bit. I learned more than I thought I would.”
UX Consultant, Netlight
Sneak Peek of the Course
Visible symbols of progress help movements gain traction and build momentum. This peek inside the course will show you how to create beacons for change—small, tangible wins that provide proof you're on the right track, show progress, and invite others to join in.