Breaking down silos with design


Our clients run the gamut of organizations, from established Fortune 500 companies to high-growth startups to leading nonprofits. In the majority of cases, we recognize that we are entering teams that have established, structured ways of working.

When we bring design thinking practices into an organization, we always consider: Where will design enhance innovation and creativity? With the rise of internal design teams has come a noticeable uptick in user research and a desire to more deeply understand the customer. At the same time, though, we’ve seen a separation of design teams from the developers and leaders who bring projects to life.

This is problematic for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that all of these stakeholders need to fully understand customer desires and motivations in order to develop a user-centric product and service journey and long-term profitability. This is where our work comes in. Our capacity to break down the siloed teams in organizations through productive and efficient communication has led us to the forefront of the design world.

We recently partnered with a technology client to do just this. We held a training with a number of developers and analysts who were excited about the prospect of utilizing user-centric methods, but believed that the product team would never allow it. We then chose to hold a training with product team members, who shared that while they would love to work with these methodologies, they thought the developers would hate it. Certainly, part of our work was identifying this discrepancy and initiating a strategy to implement user-centric methods across the organization. But more importantly, we set up a flexible system for honest, inter-departmental communication for sustained growth.

The value of design extends far beyond bringing customer-centered research into an organization. It serves to thoughtfully and pragmatically address the communication barriers that stifle the innovation capacity necessary for effective creative problem-solving.

Learn about Cooper Professional Education’s services for organizations here

Teresa Brazen
Teresa Brazen

Teresa Brazen is the Managing Director of Cooper Professional Education.

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