I’ve always been a big proponent of the idea that in-house groups have more to contribute to their companies than just design deliverables. Their culture, processes, skills and design-specific methodologies can be applied to other critical corporate strategic initiatives from product development to organizational restructures.
A serendipitous reconnection with Justin Knecht, former creative lead at Crayola, who in 2006 emigrated to Ireland to head up the Centre For Design Innovation, an organization promoting design to the business community there and who has since resettled in his hometown of Pittsburgh, reminded me just how powerful design thinking can be as a game changer for businesses.
In his new position as Senior Program Director at The LUMA Institute, Justin has the enviable job of working with companies to help them adopt and employ design practices to tackle tough business challenges and become more innovative.
LUMA, a spinoff of MAYA Design, is “an education company that teaches people how to be more innovative. Through a hands-on curriculum, [they] help organizations learn and apply the discipline of Human-Centered Design to create new value and drive sustainable growth.” The fact of the matter is that many in-house teams can further this mission as stated on LUMA’s website.
As organizations are exploring how to take advantage of increasingly complex opportunities and address complicated problems requiring a collaborative multidisciplinary approach in a fast moving environment, in-house creative teams should be stepping up and insisting on a seat at the table. LUMA is lighting the way.