Designs on IC

I’m not a designer, but I am growing increasingly interested in the approaches that designers use in solving problems. My interest is about more than just gadget geekery (not that there’s anything wrong with that…). What I find so appealing is the breadth of thinking and references that inform design as a system.

As Steve Jobs said, “creativity is just connecting things,” and that’s what I love doing; bringing together people, networks, ideas, events, situations, and whatever else, and the more disparate they appear on the surface, the better.

When I hosted the Rápido session at IABC’s EuroComm conference earlier this week, I spoke about the way that Rápido promotes design thinking, a methodology which is growing in influence in the business world.  You may well have missed last year’s announcement that financial services giant Capital One had acquired the leading-edge design agency Adaptive Path.

On the surface, Capital One’s interest has a straightforward explanation, in that Adaptive Path has a hot reputation in UX, to use the jargon (‘user experience’, in other words). But their Creative Director Jesse James Garrett wrote at the time of the acquisition that Capital One is a company that ‘gets it’ when it comes to “truly human-centered thinking”.

Human-centred (US/UK spellings notwithstanding), please note. Not customer-centred. That’s a big difference. And that’s why a design thinking/human-centred (ok, ok; human-centered, if you must) approach is perfect for internal communications.

Step forward the Institute of Internal Communication, the UK’s professional body for IC practitioners (of which I am a Fellow), who kindly invited me to bring design thinking to the IoIC Live event in Brighton next month.

It’s an irresistible combination – the sun, the seagulls, and the pebbly beach, together with the IoIC crowd and a dollop of design thinking. And, once more in the interests of full disclosure, Brighton’s my home town. Well, you know what they say – you can take the boy out of Brighton…

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