Prepare to Design the Future
March 19–20, 2017: Training
March 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

Measuring adoption of design thinking in organizations

Jordan Shade (IBM)
1:15pm–1:55pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Bridging design, technology, and business
Location: California East
Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.60, 5 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Designers, program leaders, heads of design, and organizational changers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A working knowledge of design thinking

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to teach and measure the adoption of design thinking in an organization
  • Gain exposure to a framework explaining how teams adopt design thinking


Truly innovative, exciting design necessitates design thinking: collaboration across multiple disciplines, a dedicated user-centered focus, and continuous prototyping. Creating a culture around design and design thinking in any company requires education, evaluation, and iteration to ensure that organizational adoption is happening in a meaningful way.

In a world where design-driven companies outperform S&P indices by 228%, learning tactical ways to track and grow organizational change is key. IBM recognized and invested heavily in design thinking as a driver of improved user experience and complex problem solving. Over the past three years, IBM educated and activated 10,000+ of its employees in this way of working. . .but how do you know if it’s sticking or having an impact?

Using IBM as a case study, Jordan Shade explains how to teach and measure the adoption of this new way of working, including common blockers and essential enablers. Built from design research, this clear framework of how teams adopt design thinking (or don’t) over time includes three major stages: onboarding, iterating, and customizing. You’ll learn how to evaluate your team’s progress in adopting design thinking in order to help grow a culture of design across disciplines.

Photo of Jordan Shade

Jordan Shade


Jordan Shade is a designer and design researcher at IBM, where she is building global programs to help achieve a 400,000-person cultural transformation. Jordan is fascinated by the intersection of design thinking and education and also enjoys making art, podcasting, and camping. Jordan holds a BFA from UT Austin and a MDes from the University of the Arts.