INside Track: In-house In Theory

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There’s a phrase often used in companies in such excess that it can become an inside joke. As you may have deduced by looking at the title of this post, it is indeed, “In theory”. So, when a seemingly brilliant solution is proposed for, say, how to implement a new warehousing process, the answer to “Will it work?” will inevitably be, “In theory.” (“In a perfect world” may be substituted.)

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What this maxim implies is that the idea can indeed work, just not in the way being proposed or in the situation that currently exists in the organization. This is the juncture between concept and implementation or the idealized reality and the real reality. There is no group in a corporation who understands how hard it is to bridge the implementation gap better than designers who have to take abstract strategies and bring them into existence as ink on paper or pixels on a screen.

Designers’ skill with the manifestation of ideas makes it critical that they be included in most, if not all, strategic meetings. They are often at the place where “the rubber meets the road” and they can help avoid a spinout or crash providing yet another rationale in-house designers should use in making their case for gaining a seat at the table. They must be integral and equal partners in their organization’s strategic dialogue – in more than just theory.

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