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[SOLD OUT] How to prototype your operating model

  • Barbican Centre Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS London United Kingdom (map)

About the session

How often have we designed user-centred services that fail to flourish in our organisations? The blockers tend to be things like waterfall ways of working, heavy-handed governance, outdated tech stacks and teams that cannot work in a cross-functional way. At greater design and digital maturity, organisations often uncover a need to re-design their operating models so that new skills and ways of working can support user-centred services.

But changing your operating model is a risky endeavour. Organisations are complex ecosystems where the law of unintended consequences reigns. I believe designers should be advocating for a seat at the table in these strategic conversations that often happen in Executive, HR and Performance teams. We need to be confident about what the value design can bring, and not be bamboozled by pivot tables and MBA-speak. The design skillset, in particular prototyping, helps us to test the riskiest assumptions that underpin a new model and gives us some clues about how to go from strategic documents to successfully changing how an organisation operates.

I will share some principles, approaches and common pitfalls when designing operating models, using examples from my work with charities and social enterprises.

This session will cover:

  • What are operating models and why should designers get involved?

  • How to design an operating model through prototyping

  • Getting comfortable with uncertainty, risk and politics

  • Dealing with imposter syndrome when playing in an MBA environment

Come along if you're frustrated by how culture, structure and ways of working are blocking your organisation from becoming more user-centred, and learn about how to re-design them for the better.


This session has sold out but you can still book your day pass for Friday 25.10. You will be asked to pick 5 sessions of your choice for the day.