Navigating change

Design helps us navigate change - together.

There’s a reason Deloitte and Accenture have bought 15 Design firms in the last few years.


According to McKinsey’s recent report on the Business Value of Design – Design offers Brands the chance to ‘increase revenues at nearly twice the rate of competitors’.


We call it Signal 6: Design helps us navigate uncertainty (and build the future).

The three spheres of change

This sphere creates an urgent feeling. Telling us we need to take immediate action or be left behind.



This sphere is an exciting area, filled with promise. If we can understand the other two spheres to create value.



What hasn’t changed? Human needs.

That’s why a human-centred approach is needed if we want to navigate change.
It brings much needed perspective and helps us create insights.

From systems to ecosystems.

The Ferrari and the Rainforest. The software revolution is here. And we can’t predict or control the way customers will use products. Because customers are unpredictable.

It’s the difference between a Ferrari and a rainforest.


Ferraris are complicated machines, but a decent mechanic can reassemble one without altering the outcome. The result being that the car behaves predictably.


A rainforest, on the other hand, is a delicate interconnected system in flux.


Any changes can affect the whole system.


We call it Signal 7: Future-fit brands think in systems – not just stories.


Instagram has impacted more than just the way food is presented or the way restaurants and hotels are decorated.

It’s influencing trends. And 2020’s next big food trend, according to Instagram, is Pistachios.


Instagram is now shaping what we eat, and the crops farmers plant in response to demand.


This chain of volatility and complexity teaches us we need new ways to engage the world.

And learn.

To ‘sense and respond’ to the direction of change, and even to explore unintended consequences in everything we do.


We call it Signal 8: Future fit brands consider unintended consequences.

A need for speed

In this context, the traditional planning cycles that were useful in the industrial age, are starting to look dangerously slow in a software-driven environment.

Let’s look at the way some brands are applying these first 8 signals.


Toyota are prototyping A CITY


Why? So they can learn in REAL TIME whether it’s possible to get closer to the customer.


Listen to how many times they say prototype and experiment…

This prototyping mindset – matters. It’s the culmination of hundreds or thousands of experiments, designed to de-risk the investment.


We call it Signal 9: Future-fit brands understand speed matters.


What’s unchanged?


Our deep desires for connection, belonging, purpose, security and excitement are all unchanged.

That’s why we use a ‘human-centred’ design approach.


We call it Signal 10: Future-fit brands are adaptive and attentive to changing and unchanging