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DMI Workshops: Building Great Design Organizations
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Building Great Design Organizations






Thomas Lockwood

Founder, Lockwood Resource



2017 Dates TBD








There is a convergence of new business models, design and integrated customer experience all impacted by an increasingly digital and mobile world.  As a result, design is taking an active role in innovation and business development as a key resource in the strategic management processes. However, creating an effective partnership can be difficult.  This workshop focuses on increasing the value of design in business, and advancing design as a core competency by building great internal design organizations, and embedding design and design thinking into strategic management processes. 


Workshop Methods: 


The workshop uses targeted frameworks and exercises to introduce design management and business professionals to advanced principles linking corporate culture and key business drivers to design strategy, creative processes and operational excellence. Through case studies and best-of-class examples, Lockwood will share how to not only keep pace, but set the vision and agenda to prepare for the future. Participants will have an opportunity to review and discuss their challenges, explore proven frameworks across industries and design disciplines, and develop personal solutions. 


You will learn:


Design for purpose:
Understanding business requirements: Map how your organization really competes at the corporate and business unit levels, and how to look at business and design problems more holistically. Understand the essential elements of business strategy to focus your design efforts, resources and tools to align with business realities.  


Understanding design context: Link design objectives to business objectives, and establish criteria and metrics to measure design and experience performance, including ROI. Learn 10 ways to evaluate and communicate the values of design. Understand how to use design and design methods to move strategy from a spreadsheet to a realization in new products, services and experiences. Learn to evaluate the performance of a design organization, and how to set a vision and road map for future added value.  


Design by people:
Understanding corporate culture: Recognize how culture influences design integration, how decisions are made, and how to use culture to gain traction. Map the broader organizational context and learn ways to engage change management practice. 


Design operations: Understand how to link business strategy and objectives to the design department organization and structure. Establish a protocol for internal and external design leadership, resources, briefing and design evaluation.


Design department assessments: Master how to evaluate and develop a design staff, including a design leadership scorecard and a framework for design assessment. Learn to manage co-creation and the expanding role of distributed design thinking. 

How to own your career: Discover and plot your own agenda for the future; set your vision and build personal frameworks. 


You will take away:


You will learn how to elevate the conversation about Design from projects to strategies; from a task to an integrated competency; from individual projects to core processes, and from subjective and intangible to strategic and tangible. You will also learn how to set a plan in place for more effective design operations, organizations, management and sourcing. As an internal manager, or consultant, you will better understand your clients, how they make decisions, where you fit in the grand scheme of things, and how to bring more value to the table. 


Attendees will learn to:

  • Ascertain the organization's current design contributions and capabilities
  • Express the contributions design could be making
  • Identify the challenges to growing design to its full potential
  • Map an approach to grow design capabilities and measure their potential impact
  • Use tools to have more productive team and cross disciplinary conversations
  • Use tools to construct an effective business case for change and/or new initiatives
  • Create a roadmap for building sustained change

Who should attend:


This seminar is ideal for leaders in the corporate and public sector including:

  • Design: Service, Experience, Brand, Identity, and UX
  • Creative Services 
  • Brand Management 
  • Innovation
  • Customer Experience 
  • Marketing & Product Management 
  • Research & Consumer Insight
  • Developers and Interactive/Information Architects

It will benefit senior management as well as designers and business leaders on their way up. 



Both days include light breakfast, lunch and facilitated opportunities for networking and peer interaction.


Day 1: 9:00 - 5:00pm
Registration Check-In
Design Purpose and Operations

  • Design culture and context
  • Design strategy
  • Department assessment
  • Department strategy and vision

Day 2: 9:00 - 3:00pm

Design People and Development

  • Design operations
  • Department development
  • Design leadership
  • Career frameworks
  • Future outlook
  • Wrap up


Registration Fees:

DMI Member: $950
Non-Member: $1100



about our facilitator:

Thomas Lockwood is a founding partner of Lockwood Resource, an international recruiting firm specializing in design and innovation leadership. He was the president of DMI, the Design Management Institute, a non-profit research association in Boston from 2005-2011. Previously he was a Design Director at Sun Microsystems, StorageTek, Camp7, and a principal in several design firms.


Lockwood has a PhD in design management, and is recognized as a thought leader at integrating design and innovation practice into business and building great design organizations. He is the co-editor of four books: The Handbook of Design Management (2011), Design Thinking (2010), Corporate Creativity (2008) and Building Design Strategy (2007). He manages a blog about building Cultures of innovation at


He is a design advisor to countries and to companies, a Fellow at the Royal Society of the Arts in London, blogs for Fast Company, is a frequent design award judge, and has been a visiting professor of Design Management at Pratt Institute in New York City. He has led workshops and keynote speeches in over 20 countries. 







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