A total of 58 responses were received to the survey we sent out over the summer, asking organisations:
- what activities have made the most difference to their thinking and practice and why
- what difference Better by Design is making to their beneficiaries
- how are you changing as a result of Better by Design
- what 3 things should we do to improve it
- is it value for money
- what are you most pleased about
There was no response from four organisations.
You told us that whilst on the whole you are very positive about the programme, most of you are keen that the activity in the final year has a real focus on concrete actions.
A wide range of activities were cited as being helpful; these included coaching, research and prototyping as well as specific tools such as Organisational Health Scorecard, Theory of Change, Empathy maps, Customer profiles, Knowledge swatches, SWOT analysis and the red and green curve. Sometimes what was helpful was just having different kinds of meetings which provide an opportunity to ‘bring things out into the open’, or visiting other services from a client perspective – as someone put it “seeing ourselves from ‘outside’”. One of the things you are most pleased about is the active use of the design approach to develop new ideas and services.
By using these approaches you have seen improvements in your own organisations specifically around: including those who use your services in planning; open and honest communication; the ability to stand back and reflect and therefore plan better; better understanding of target audiences, and stronger ability to collaborate with others.
People you work with are already benefiting through being more involved, and through the more thoughtful approach being adopted. But the real benefits to those using the service will become more apparent over the coming year.
The biggest change you are noticing in your own organisations is a more positive attitude to the future and improved morale in your teams. You are challenging yourselves more, and being more articulate about the difference you make. You are also seeing your strategic and business planning processes improve, with a clearer focus on the people using your services.
You want more clarity what is happening in the remainder of the programme, better integration of the different aspects of the programme, and a real focus on direct action.
Many of those of you who had experienced it first hand were convinced that it was a good use of money, but some of you had boards of directors who will only be convinced by seeing real changes in the long term prospects for sustainability for their organisations.
Thank you for the great ideas for case studies. We will be getting back to you about these.