Organisational Change through Design

Boon Yew Chew
7 min readAug 14, 2019

What I learnt at the final week of CIID Summer School 2019

Last week, I attended the “Change Management through Design” summer school course at CIID. The course was facilitated by Mary Wharmby and Grace Ascuasiati of Design Transformation, and formerly from Spring Studio and BBVA, where they led the design transformation change across the BBVA organisation.

Photo banner for CIID Summer School in Copenhagen in partnership with UN’s sustainable development goals — 8 July to 9 August
Hello, CIID

It was exhausting, but I got a lot of out of it. It renewed my optimism for design thinking approaches as a counterpoint to traditional top-down, management-driven initiatives, by balancing it with human-centricity, creativity and experimentation, iteration and learning.

The main takeaways for me was about maintaining focus on people, having the right attitude, making incremental impact and trusting the process. I’ve tried to document my reflections from the course here.

Design Thinking in Org Change

Design thinking has been around for awhile, and designers are no strangers to its methods and applications. This course re-emphasizes its process in non-designer hands — a phenomenon that’s been taking place across enterprises like IBM (pdf), Salesforce, and Kaiser Permenente. It transitions the designer’s role from craftsperson and facilitator to teacher and coach.



Boon Yew Chew

Principal UX designer at Elsevier. IxDA local leader and board alumni. Strategy. Systems. Visual thinking. Design. Has a brain in his stomach.