Ever been frustrated that a new technology, tool or process failed to “take off”? If you’ve worked in a company bigger than five people, chances are you have.  Who hasn’t dealt with leadership inconsistency, poor front-line implementation, little accountability, or my personal pet peeve — 11th-hour revisions that overwrite previous work and minimize the team’s contributions.

A human-centered design process is one of my favorite tools for enacting change and circumventing these kinds of issues. I like it for many reasons:

First, you can “sense” during the education and ideation phases, the level of commitment and enthusiasm of stakeholders. I wish organizations had the courage to “kill” more projects early on based on these “subtle” factors. If leadership and the resource don’t engage at the beginning of the process, that is an indication that the project doesn’t have the right support at least not at that time.

Second, design workshops should cultivate input and insight across groups, BUs, services and hierarchies. The problem is:

Creativity is not hierarchical

When done right idea generation workshops should be energizing, inspiring and result in new insights and clarity on objectives — new ambassadors and champions. Tom and David Kelley talk about having “ground troops” and “air support” for launching creative initiatives. Design your innovation and change management process with the understanding that

People may resist change but they love being a part of the solution!