My extensive portfolio of experience, built up over 25 years working in charities, businesses, as a designer and in emerging tech, has given me a rare ability to see the organisation itself as something that can be redesigned to become the thriving business of its owner's dreams. 

Study after study has shown that companies that have an experienced innovator serving on their boards grow faster in the good times and are more resilient during recessions. They return more money to shareholders and make more profit than competitors. Since 1995, such companies have grown their share price at twice the speed of the FTSE 100 and the S&P 500. I've written a short article summarising the key findings here.

The same is true of public sector organisations and charities, for whom the return on investment may be measured in terms of customer satisfaction, number of people helped, increased influence or improved ability to raise funds. You'll find plenty of examples on my personal company website (Stakeholder Design).

In this section, I have set out some of the ways in which I help organisations get ready for growth or identify and remove things that are holding them back. 

Easier Access to Finance:

I have helped clients raise millions of pounds in grants and seed funding, primarily by working with them to find ideas that are both novel and feasible and then using my experience as a grant assessor to help them communicate the purpose and benefit of investment.

For instance, in 2019 Ufi Voctech Trust asked me to work with a college in Scotland to help them develop a new idea for possible funding. The £20,000 project went so well that it generated unexpected new offers of business worth over £1m. In addition, they also won a second (six figure) Ufi grant.

I also help clients get ready to attract and secure private equity investment. Here, I am able to draw on my own experience of securing a multi-million pound investment offer and working with investors in the UK, Middle East and China.

A more capable workforce:

The collaborative working methods encouraged in creative organisations allow staff to identity and solve problems for themselves. Since 2003, I have trained numerous local authorities to become better at understanding and addressing the problems faced by local residents. My work with one school saw its pass rate rise from 37-62% for no additional expenditure, with its Principal winning UK Headteacher of the Year.

In the private sector, I've helped over 100 companies to engage in research and development and I am presently mentoring two organisations with a view to upskilling their employees. 

Increased profit/ impact:

Research done by the UK Department of Trade and Industry found that, where two companies make identical products, the one with a designer serving at board level made 20% more profit. The reasons are simple: the designer will identify sometimes hidden customer needs, ensure that the product is closely aligned with them, simplify the production process, ensure it is well branded and most likely be first to market. 

Of course, designers are used to creating products and services to be sold by a company. But when that designer also has extensive business experience they can help to ensure that the company itself is well designed, thus improving profit and/or social impact.

For instance, 

Corporate resilience

I worked at the Design Council in 2004, when it published the world's first study of the share price performance ...

What was interesting was the discovery that creative and emerging tech companies actually grew in value during the recession of 2000-03, while the FTSE 100 lost 41% of its value.

However, that corporate resilience is felt in other ways too. People want to work for creative companies, and those companies are seen as more important by peers because they stand out from the crowd. 

Enhanced reputation:

Fostering Network?