Inspiration As Outcome

Anyone working in design or consulting knows that no amount of advice will guarantee action with your clients or colleagues. Great, thoughtful designs are important to success yet are not guarantees for adoption.

What is critical above all is that designs inspire people. Without inspiration and excitement, there is no action.

Designer Bruce Mau came to this realization during his teaching when he was asked by trainees how it was that he designed and while he was able to speak to the production and philosophy behind his work, he was stuck with how to describe the process of the work. It was in reflecting upon this process that he came to realize that without inspiration design was dead. Prototypes would not get realized. Design culture within an organization would not change and the kind of transformation and innovation requested by clients and communities would never materialize.

For our clients, we are recommending that inspiration be considered the primary outcome of any project. No matter what kind of process is undertaken to create something — whether it was co-design, expert-driven, or some other model — the end result must be that what you produce must inspire people.

That will not guarantee success, but without it there is near guarantee of failure.

Consider inspiration as the precursor to any kind of innovation adoption or impact and you may find the correlations between those projects where people felt inspired, saw a future vision and felt motivated to act and their overall success rate in being implemented is close to 100 percent.

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