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Transforming organisational practices through design-led innovation

Case study: Transforming organisational practices and achieving long-term change through design-led innovation 

Staff: Mark Bailey, Nick Spencer, Neil Smith, Mersha Aftab, Emmanouil Chatzakis, Kate Lampitt Adey, Steven Kyffin, Phil Sams, Nate Sterling

Achieving long-term change is often difficult within large organisations comprising multiple specialised teams, who are working on complex social issues. Northumbria researchers developed a novel approach to multidisciplinary design-led innovation which empowers stakeholders to achieve positive systemic change in organisations from different sectors. In the fast moving goods sector this approach has been applied to change communication practices within a global corporation. This resulted in new levels of management support leading to annual funding for up to 20 research students, a GBP600,000 InnovateUK award, a new product launched in Chile and a new spin-out enterprise. 

In England’s education sector, Northumbria’s team developed a novel Workplace Investigations Framework (WIF) that enabled schools to deliver enhanced careers guidance. After successful implementation in three schools, WIF was incorporated into the national Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s materials distributed to every headteacher and careers leader in England in 2017. These materials underpinned the Department for Education Careers Strategy (2017) and Statutory Guidance (2018), and by 2019 were used by 74% (over 3,800 schools and colleges) across England. 

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