Design, Innovation and Awareness

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Kelsey Price

Business Analyst - LEADX3M

Addressing the Importance of Design, Innovation, and Awareness within Companies

Design is crucial to the success of an organization, as a company must be aware of its culture and its learning process. Then, it will be empowered to put in place tools that help them to identify and change those factors to create an intentional design. The first principle to achieving such a goal would be evaluation. Using the 12 culture keys, a company could identify what type of culture is currently in place, (Papke & Lockwood, 2018). What are its values? How do they handle conflicts? Do they have incentives and rewards in place for those that take risks? Or are those people punished for deviating from the norm? In order to have an awareness design, a company must first be “aware.”

A principle required to implement the Awareness Design is the fostering of an environment to allow for new ideas. This enables a company to “design” their culture and how they learn. Personnel should feel comfortable speaking their minds, sharing new ideas, and working with those around them. Employees add more value when they not only perform their required tasks, but also collaborate and find ways to grow. Continuous learning should be encouraged and risk-taking should be rewarded. This type of environment would bring new ideas to the table and inspire cross-collaboration and knowledge sharing between employees and departments.

For employees to share their ideas, a company must also create greater levels of emotional awareness between the members of the organization to improve the interactions they have with one another. Companies should be pushing their employees to think more about the process of interaction, not only the interactions themselves. A way to implement this principle might be to adopt double loop learning within the workplace. Double loop learning is about taking action first. The learning comes into play when the action taker steps back and reviews their experience and uncovers the assumptions that fueled that action. Then those assumptions are challenged when the process is repeated and improved upon.

Pixar Animation is a great example of a company which achieves Awareness Design. They have created a company culture that is reflective of who they want to be, leading to innovation as well as a magnitude of success. Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Studios has said “great movies are made from ‘tens of thousands of ideas’ … everyone needs to contribute their ideas and opinions … everyone makes a difference in the quality of a film,” (Stallard, 2014). Their office interactions are informal and provide a transfer of knowledge between departments, made possible through their open office design. They also have an interesting concept called “Braintrust” where many important players in the making of a film meet to discuss progress. The peers are then encouraged to give feedback to the director about what was both good and bad, knowing they are free to do so without repercussions, (Stallard, 2014). These mechanisms are in place to shape a culture that is open, ever-changing, and innovative.

At LEADX3M, we work with your company to perform institutional audits which evaluate personnel, processes, and capabilities. We then work closely with you to identify important gaps, improve shortcomings, and leverage strengths. All of this helps to culminate into an agile and innovative company. Let us help your business thrive, contact us today!


Papke, E., & Lockwood, T. (2018). Innovation by Design. Wayne, NJ: The Career Press, Inc.

Stallard, Mike (2014, May 23) 3 Ways Pixar Gains Competitive Advantage from its Culture.

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