Proposition: Responding to Change 15 March 2012

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AfH set out a proposition that design is crucial to the survival of NHS organisations, and that as the designer’s role shifts from procurement to change management so design professionals need to change the way they work.

We invited 3 speakers to talk about their specific experiences of working in different ways

Arnold Levin             Principal/Workplace Strategy Dir NBBJ

Chris Shaw               Director Medical Architecture

John Worthington    Founder of DEGW

Arnold Levin described the difference between change and change management: he suggested that design professionals often engage in discussions at a briefing stage about how the organisation would like to do things in the future: but few get beyond communication and space use to understand how corporations/ clients operate and how they can actually implement change. Various models are already up and running that can be deployed to support this process such as The STAR model, organographs etc and that help to link change at the strategic level. Transitional planning can be tested using actors and staff to run through scenarios before hospitals open to tests processes and designs. How do we shift the paradigm of design into a broader and more strategic context?

Chris Shaw sketched out the difference between procurement based consultation and developing a vision for the future involving identifying the movers and shakers that can implement change. Stakeholder engagement as part of procurement based design is backward looking; it is designed to get buy-in rather than promote vision as well as being inefficient and costly. Liverpool Academic Medical Centre is a vehicle for developing a different process in which wider issues of health care strategy for the city can be opened up for debate.

John Worthington invited us to consider the building as an asset and to think about improving business performance through innovative property solutions. He suggested that

  • Efficiency is about making the most of the space
  • Effectiveness is about making the most of people
  • Expression is about the brand and the messages

The role of designers is to moderate and optimise in a process of continuous change. He urged us to think about making the most of the neighbourhood context, thinking laterally, and about devising a non-determinant architecture.

As clients become more resilient in the business place, so designers will find themselves in a position to manage space, time and technology through collaboration to achieve strategic change.

We turned the world upside down and then tried to imagine what designers would do to effect change in a strategic and visionary way.  It was a challenge and it was fun!

For full presentations please see below:

Design for Change, Christopher Shaw
Changing how we work and managing the change, Arnold Levin
Your Building as an Asset, John Worthington

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