When it comes to promoting design, you need to take the ‘stakeholders persona’ and find a way to communicate with them and frame it so they understand. Of course, it depends on your ‘stakeholder persona’, but just as an example see these:
Design-oriented: “A Design Thinking workshop is necessary to define the core problem.”
Business-oriented: “We are exposing ourselves to very high risk because these requirements are based on an assumption.”
Design-oriented: “Design creates intuitive user journeys.”
Business-oriented: “If we minimise the barrier to purchase for the shopper, your sales will go up.”
Design-oriented: “We will deliver a delightful experience to your customers.”
Business-oriented: “We will deliver increased engagement measured by improved customer loyalty.”
Here are some key points on how to speak their language:
Avoid using the word ‘design’. Everyone has a different understanding of what design is, so how can you explain a definition while using the word that you are trying to define? Instead…
Focus on the outcome. Make sure they see that you understand what they care for and that you share the same business goal.
Use the same vocabulary. It is a human cognitive bias that we perceive familiar things better. Leverage on it and stop being hung up on your definitions.
Avoid design jargon, and speak business. Your objective is to communicate the value of design, not to look important or more knowledgeable than them. Focus on the outcome.
By no means, am I saying that the outcome is more important than the process of getting there. The process is where we learn and grow as an individual or even societies. But the reality is that humans are hard-wired to think in terms of goals and outcomes and if you follow this natural human behaviour and start a conversation with an outcome, you will be able to promote design more effectively. Maybe you might even get enough interest that you can take them along on a journey of a design process and they can learn with you.
Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.