Unlock Innovation through Design Thinking: A Message from our CEO

3 min read
Jan 29, 2022 5:15:00 PM

BIG Changes

Thank you. Whether an old friend or a new community member, we are reignited by the positive response to our refined mission: to unlock innovation through design thinking.

Matching this clarified mission, we have updated our brand's identity including our logo, colors, imagery and a brand new website.

To mark this significant milestone in our journey to reimagining strategy work as human-centered, let’s collectively reflect upon the values that define BIG, the progress we’ve made towards those values, and everything we aspire to become as we move forward into an exciting future as BIG.

Values that Define BIG

From our earliest days, Clark and I have embraced a spirit of optimism that we define as “a belief in a better way.” Granted, “better,” is a subjective term; however, we find innovation thrives when creating solutions in service to user-centered needs. Every meaningful change begins with the initial prototype, which requires reframing “failure” into “learning forward.”

An organization’s aversion to failure often prevents prototyping new ideas, leaving their efforts stuck in “innovation theater.”
From the beginning, an openness to “designing for extreme use cases to improve the mean user experience” has defined our practice. This openness ensures our work represents a diversity of lived experiences.

In this spirit, we strive to “make the invisible, visible.” Like amplifying the voices of underrepresented groups, the ideas in our minds only thrive when they move beyond good intentions to action. This is the number one criticism of design thinking: plenty of talk, but no follow-through. While putting thoughts on paper opens participants up to criticism, it is vital to pave the way forward. Ideas are intangible and lack impact without the action that translates them into opportunities.

Progress Towards our Values

Since our founding in 2015, we’ve evolved from transposing our classroom curriculum onto corporate engagements to embracing empathy for our clients’ end-users to deliver co-created, innovative solutions powered by design thinking.

This evolution has taken us away from “innovation theater,” and into longer engagements that explore “wicked problems” using a three-tiered approach to move you from “being inspired by,” what you see to “being inspired to,” take action:

The BIG Why:

An “innovation check-up,” to prioritize the facets of your business that would benefit the most from design thinking-powered co-creation.

The BIG Idea:

This is the fun part of the work. Your stakeholders sit side-by-side with the BIG team to generate user-centered solutions.

The BIG Test:

This is the key to the innovation effort, forming a hypothesis, then building, testing, and validating prototypes to refine the solution en route to a minimum viable product.

Looking to the Future

Lastly, we want to share where we see innovation in 2025 and beyond. Beginning with what we believe will not change in the next ten years, we feel practicing empathy for the needs of customers, employees, and stakeholders is a key to success.

Technology will remain the headline driver of innovation; however, without first articulating “desirability” among users, feasibility-led product developments will continue to fall short of expectations. On the other hand, we will keep optimism as our North Star, defined as “the belief in a better way,” amidst an increasingly challenging social, political, and environmental landscape.

While we bring many years of experience to our work, we will keep our “traveler’s mindset,” which is a willingness to embrace new ideas, even if these new ideas challenge our orthodoxies. We know embracing a diversity of thoughts is vital, lest we risk reinforcing the status quo.

Accepting the status quo is what keeps us in the same cycle of doing the same thing over and over again. We believe solving tomorrow’s problems with yesterday’s tools is the greatest risk. At BIG, our redefined mission empowers our clients to challenge long-held industry orthodoxies, reframe the core beliefs of the opportunity space, ideate disruptive innovations, and prototype minimum viable products to explore new verticals and industries to become future-ready.

Highlights from our New Website

We added detailed information about our renewed services under “BIG Innovation,” where you can learn more about them and decide which will fit your needs better.

Our case studies are now live under “BIG Results,” where you will find success stories from our previous engagements.

We retired our old blog, and under “BIG Insights,” you will be able to find a collection of our latest insights and ideas on innovations.

A huge thanks to Jacob Cass of Just Creative, our Brand Designer, and Strategist Partner, for bringing our new look, identity, and mission to life.

As always, if you have any questions or any “yes, and!” thoughts, we look forward to hearing them.


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