Integrated design enables companies to identify new business potential and to expand the product and service ecosystem in the short and long term in order to achieve sustainable growth.

However, there are challenges that companies must face if the best possible potential is to be tapped from integrated design projects:

Silos store hay, they don't grow it.

Most companies still work vertically – better known under the not-very-exciting-sounding term, “units”. So far, the division into units within an organization has been an easy-to-handle method to deal with teams and responsibilities, and to measure the added value for the whole organization by means of KPIs.

The problem is that individual departments usually only develop awareness of their immediate performance and tasks, but do not feel a sense of belonging to other departments. Often there is also no involvement in the short- and long-term goals an organization is pursuing. This creates “knowledge silos” within the departments, as information and knowledge are kept within the respective departments to generate an advantage.

This does not happen out of evil intent, but rather is rooted in a deeply human need: within different territories there will always be a struggle for resources and prestige, a rudiment of the good old "survival-of-the-fittest" maxim.

Yet the real key to growth of companies and further development of employees is exactly the opposite: shared knowledge, free access to a diverse portfolio of competencies within an organization and collaboration across departmental boundaries.

Unleashing the true power of integrated design

Empowering organizations to work as integrated teams across departments should be the top priority within an organization if they seriously want to develop meaningful, holistic and touching experiences for customers, and to deliver the expected business results.

In short, these three key points should be considered:

All employees involved in a project should contribute their entire knowledge.
A clear design requirement and project vision keep everyone involved in the project in line.
There is no client. There is no agency. There is only one collaborative team, focused on users for whom a brand, product or service is developed.