As I look around me in the studio, it never fails to impress me the energy, swirl, the magic underway. Not the scurrying busywork of deadlines whooshing by. But the determined, thoughtful focus on making something meaningful.

I’m privileged to spend a great deal of my time with leaders across a range of industries, learning the models and mechanics that make their business tick. Increasingly, as part of the conversation, they say, ‘Inspire me.’ Not as a strident challenge of unachievable expectation. As a gentle request for that same sense of purpose I see in our work every day.

That inspiration doesn’t flow from a big idea, a grand vision, a creative flash. Inspiration flourishes when you create the conditions that make change possible. When you can finally see a way through the barriers that have kept your product, your organisation, your business model stuck. Usually stuck in a place that represents growth and profits of the past and present, but diminishing promise for the future.

Inspiration flourishes when you create the conditions that make change possible.

We’re designers. We can sketch and invent and create beautiful surfaces in CAD. So why are we also worrying about NPV and ROI and cap-ex and distribution channels. Surely, that is our client’s job to worry about while we make things beautiful? Well, that beautiful drawing, that useful feature won’t make it off the manufacturing line if we don’t worry about the business realities with all of our client stakeholders.

Our analysis, our relentless drive to understand both the macro and the micro in our client and consumer worlds, is all about creating those conditions for change. Creating a strong structure, a robust model, a viable business case within which creativity can flourish. Creating that sense of possibility.

That’s what makes a good days work. A humming studio. An inspired client. A meaningful design. It all starts from believing that what you are doing will make a difference.