Package Design - March 2016 - (Page 62)
Debate & Discuss
COL L A B OR AT ION
Dr i v i ng
B r e a k t h r oug h
i n novat ion
Brand and innovation designer at PepsiCo Inc.
n this editorial, Package
experts in a variety of
roles about how teams can
breakthrough innovation and
about the evolving role of
innovation. This is a preview
of a roundtable discussion to
be published later this year.
How can business leaders enable, engage and
empower their teams?
It sounds simple, but clear team structures and appointed
decision makers can actually make all the difference in
making team members feel enabled and not overwhelmed or paralyzed. It's important to always feel like
the project is moving in a positive direction, but when
roles are fuzzy, every major decision feels like a roadblock. With complex projects that engage cross-functional teams, this can be tricky, because roles and team
structures need to shift depending on objectives. If the
project is design-led, then design should weigh heavily as
decision makers; but if it is a productivity initiative,
design should be focused on delivering instead of making
the major decisions. Setting these clear expectations help
teams manage their own success.
How does workload and cadence affect innovation?
Innovation takes time and usually relies on the cooperation
of large teams. It's hard to complete a true innovation project
if workloads are heavy and unbalanced across disciplines. It
goes back to empowerment-if progression depends on too
many decision makers, projects will lose momentum and
teams will feel thwarted. By the same token, working teams
have to be able to look at opportunities for innovation and
not feel overwhelmed by the processes, resources, and costs
needed to get to implementation. If those needs are not
supported, people will be resistant to taking on the challenge
that innovation brings.
What have you done to integrate individual and
The design function is still relatively young in PepsiCo.
One of our major initiatives is developing a process for
effective collaboration across the different business functions. In the past, ideas have been generated in one facet
of the company, e.g., marketing, insights, etc., and passed
between the others for evaluation. If we as designers can
work with each team to understand the challenges from
every angle, then the ideas and concepts that we generate
will have a higher success rate when it runs through all of
the validation systems.
If we take this more holistic view, injecting design into
the development process doesn't just mean adding a step,
but adjusting the entire approach. Doing so reveals the
complexity of innovation projects, they have lots of objectives from different angles and lots of work streams that
need to harmonize. Design is crucial throughout this process-we are the thread that connects all the disciplines.
We've employed what we call a "brief in a tweet," where we
challenge the team to align on a 140-character summary
of the project. That way, as teams work concurrently, they
have a basis for decision making.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Package Design - March 2016
Package Design - March 2016
Package Design Matters Series
A Spirited Performance
Patterns of Engagement
Debate & Discuss: Driving Breakthrough Innovation
Field Notes: Party-Ready Package
Sponsored Section: Agencies to Watch
Package Design - March 2016