Identity Dress-up For Strategic Thinking


Seeing into the future is fraught with creative issues. While we might know about a future opportunity or situation, what might it feel like? What would it look like if we could ‘try on’ a decision before we bought it?

We can.

The idea of Identity Dress-Up is a simple visualization exercise that brings together foresight, futures thinking, behavioural science and design. It does this by getting you to ‘try on’ the outcomes of a decision. For example, could you imagine that you achieved a particular goal? Let’s say it was to serve a new clientele for your agency — what would success look like? What would it feel like? What would have had to be in place in your organization for that to have happened?

Take some time to imagine this and challenge yourself (and your team) to add detail to this imagination and explore its assumptions.

We’ve found that sometimes our clients don’t want that future after ‘trying it on.’ It happens all the time: we get the thing we’ve strived for and realize we didn’t really want it after all.

More often, organizations begin to see what it will take to get to this vision. This is where the strategic design process comes in. By setting up your preferred future first, you can then walk back from there to the present to determine what needs to be in place and how it needs to be organized to set yourself up for success.

Identity Design

We act as we see ourselves. This process is so effective because it provides us with a safe way to change how we see ourselves without having to make substantive changes – yet. Trying on ideas helps socialize the idea of change and allows us to see the pros and cons of it and make it feel more familiar. The more familiar it is, the more likely we are able to consider it, adopt it, and design for it.

Just like a kid playing dress up, we can do the same and fit our fantasies and hopes for the future on with what we experience in the present.

This is a simple, fun, and powerful exercise that can be done in a short amount of time. We explain this in short, below.

If you need or would like help doing it, we can help – let’s talk. Good luck!

Photo by Saksham Gangwar on Unsplash

Scroll to Top