Integrating Design into Organizations: The Coevolution of Design Capabilities

Integrating Design into Organizations: The Coevolution of Design Capabilities

By
Tua Bjorklund, Hanna Maula, Sarah A. Soule, Jesse Maula
California Management Review. January
2020

Organizational leaders are increasingly turning to design approaches as a panacea for uncertainty and disruption. However, frictions between design and typical engineering and management practices make integrating design into organizations difficult. To do this well, it is necessary to foster the coevolution of two types of design capabilities: deep expertise in design practices and wide understanding, application, and scaffolds of design. Underestimating the coevolution leads to three typical “pitfalls” that can limit the effectiveness of investments in design. This article examines each of these tensions in the context of large technology companies and presents practical recommendations on how to avoid them.