Using innovation to improve performance
A Design Council case study

Page 1: Introduction

Within all types of organisations, managers need to constantly ask themselves ‘Where do we go from here?’ This is because, in a changing and competitive business environment, there is a continuing need for organisations to move forward and innovate as part of their strategic development. Innovation involves making a change to something in order to make it either different and better...
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Page 2: Developing an innovative culture

Organisations are as unique as nations, societies and people. Each has its own set of values, beliefs and ways of doing things - its personality. Together, these create the culture of the organisation. An organisation’s culture develops and changes over time. This process of change needs to be managed. A key feature of culture involves fostering the personal and professional development of...
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Page 3: The strategic use of design

Effective design is not just about making minor product adjustments, keeping up with competitors or thinking about how to make the working environment more appealing for staff. These considerations are important, but they are tactical decisions based upon mainly minor improvements that affect parts of the organisation’s performance within a time frame. In modern organisations, meeting...
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Page 4: Small businesses and the economy

In a competitive environment, innovation is a key activity for all organisations, both large and small. In recent years in the UK, there has been a resurgence in the development of small businesses, which continue to play an increasingly important role within the national economy. Small businesses today can have problems in obtaining the resources and the financing to support the ideas of their...
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Page 5: Providing a rapid paybacK

It is usual for the payback from an investment such as that in corporate design to take a considerable amount of time to materialise. Waterra is a Solihull-based company that manufacturers and distributes environmental monitoring equipment. Its main business is the manufacture and distribution of groundwater monitoring equipment for use around sites that either are known to be contaminated or...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Markets for UK companies are worldwide. To serve these markets, firms have to ask themselves: Do we really know what our customers want? How do we generate, capture and develop ideas? How good are we at seeing good ideas through to fruition? In a changing market place, what is the best way for us to develop strategies that will maximise our competitive advantage? How should we set about...
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