Workplace employees

Employee behaviour and design pitches

I recently reread an article about CEOs on the Wolff Olins Report.

It led me to thinking about how we pitch businesses and if we should pitch based on how CEOs are reacting to changing employee attitudes.

The Wolff Olins research showed a number of interesting things about CEOs.

Firstly 86% of CEOs report big changes in their practice; changes that include the way the culture of the business has to be shaped, how employees are being engaged through a shared social purpose and how they, more than ever, are individualists.

The implications of this give an indication on how we should be pitching.

Outputs vs inputs

The research showed there’s a marked swing from concentrating on outputs such as driving people hard on sales figures to inputs like creating a strong, lasting, ethical culture. Overall, 63% of the CEOs talked about a focus on inputs, with this figure consistent across geographies, as well as mature and young companies.


Employees increasingly have their own purposes, and resist corporate conformity. Leaders are having to find ways to mould their companies around individual employees’ purposes: 42% of surveyed CEOs cited this emerging trend, with Europe (62%) in the lead.

The Wolff Olins report stated:

Leaders, in response, are learning to be less the visionary, less the sage, less the objective-setter, and more the shaper, the connector, the questioner. And yet at times, they also need to intervene, to insist, to control. It’s a fluid role, its shape not yet clear.

Take away

So what does this mean for designers.
I think we need to get more skill in using customer journey maps, employee journey maps, empathy mapping and jobs to be done analysis. All of these tools fit perfectly with the the way that Wolff Olins found CEOs to be reacting.

If you would to learn more about customer journey maps, employee journey maps, empathy mapping and jobs to be done analysis, contact Greg Branson.

Greg Branson

Contact Greg Branson if you would like to learn more about the many programs the DBC offers.

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Greg Branson

Greg’s passion is the research and development of methods that improve design management and the role of design in business.

Greg has developed The Design Business School to help owners manage their business better along with showing designers how to get more involved in the studio and develop their career path. Contact Greg.