Design-Led Innovation is a creative approach to problem solving that is being adopted by world-leading companies of all sizes. Aimed at driving innovation and improving customer experience through five pillars of design-led innovation the process promises to provide individuals with the skills needed to drive change for positive impact.
Five Pillars of Design-Led Innovation
- Empathy: Understanding customers’ needs to create valuable solutions.
- Ideation and problem solving: Generating and refining ideas to solve complex problems.
- Prototyping and testing: to validate new business concepts.
- Collaboration and teamwork: Working with others to solve problems.
- Mindset: Focusing on creative problem solving, experimentation and iterative development.
Drawing on best practices from organisations including the UK Design Council, D.School, and the Global Design Thinking Alliance, Elevator, a social enterprise, working to support entrepreneurship and employability across Scotland, has developed a new approach to innovaton and growth for Perth and Kinross micro-businesses.
Launched in January 2023, in partnership with Perth & Kinross Council, their Design Led Innovation programme has now supported 27 individuals and will restart this November with its third cohort of microbusinesses and SMEs.
Based in the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre, the course is open to all SMEs in Perth & Kinross. Andrew Cameron, Programme Manager and Design Innovation Lead commented, “Elevator’s mission is to recycle wealth back into the communities we support by enabling businesses to innovate and grow. We have found that start-up entrepreneurs can feel isolated and struggle to keep up the initial momentum that led them to launch their idea.
“The course helps individuals look at their business with fresh eyes, and from different perspectives. In particular, we nurture an environment of collaboration, encouraging the group to engage and support one another in a meaningful way.”
This collaborative approach was embraced fully by their inaugural intake, with 11 businesses continuing to meet monthly at the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre at Perth’s Creative Exchange.
Pauline Lockhart of Later Life Concierge commented, “In a small or micro business it is so easy to concentrate on path that may not be serving you well. The tasks that Andrew presented us with were designed to help us speak up in a supportive and safe space. We found that as well as generating ideas for our own businesses, we become a sounding board for each other, drawing on strengths and sharing knowledge to expand our sales pipelines.”
This ongoing collaboration has provided new opportunities for partnership working with participants joining forces to create mutually beneficial products and services.
Winter Intake – November 2023
Perth & Kinross Council has commissioned Elevator to extend their Design-Led Innovation Programme for a third cohort, to run November 2023. Whether you’re a business professional, owner or entrepreneur, the Elevator programme will provide you with the skills you need to drive change. Places are limited to ensure high levels of one-to-one support. All workshops will take place at the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre in Perth:
- Tuesday 21st November (10am – 5pm)
- Wednesday 22nd November (10am – 5pm)
- Tuesday 5th December (10am –5pm)