6 Design Principles for Government Transformation

March 2016, by Awaken Group
AG_6 Principles_Govt Transformation

The public sector is one of the top sectors that Awaken Group serves, and we came up with six design principles for transformation as a guide for our government clients to have even greater positive impact on citizens’ lives. The principles are based on Transformation Design, which integrates strategy, leadership, and design to achieve sustainable outcomes for complex issues. We feel that these principles can also apply to organizations in any industry.

6 Design Principles for Transformation:

  1. Start from the inside-out. Transformation begins with what you stand for and believe in, not with end goals and KPIs. Inside-out is about aligning purpose and values for sustainable impact.
  2. Think beyond the “average user.” Go beyond demographics and engage citizens as humans based on actual emotional and functional needs, rather than an abstract ‘average’ citizen concept, which does not exist.
  3. Have a Both/And mentality vs. Either/Or. Design optimal and holistic solutions that benefit both government & community by adopting a “both/and” mindset. An “either/or” mentality ignores diverse views and can lead to polarization and division in society.
  4. Embrace diversity of views. Listen actively and seek to understand different points of view rather than listening with the intention to defend your own point of view. Acknowledge that the government does not have all of the answers.
  5. Co-create solutions. Practice embracing diverse views through collaboration and co-creation. This sends the strong message that government is not solely responsible for national issues, and are instead shared and owned by the larger community.
  6. Celebrate success. This goes beyond acknowledgement of effort and builds an inspiring shared identity between government and community as success stories crystallize a sense of that is important.

Transformation of any kind is not easy. It starts with an open mindset that embraces different views and perspectives, seeks to understand what people care about, aims to co-create solutions, and celebrates success along the way.


Discover more about Transformation Design:
Case for Transformation Design
Why Transformation Design is Needed for the Future
Design Thinking 3.0: Transformation Design