Open Letter: Dear colleague-so you want to launch a “design lab”?
Jonathan Veale

Thanks for sharing this advice Jonathan! It certainly resonates with my own perspective on our shared experience in bringing systemic design into the Government of Alberta. I agree that “co-design as facilitation” provided a non-threatening entry point but also leads to many requests for help that really only require good facilitation. The one other point I would add on Depth of Focus is that the impetus to establish a lab is to move the needle on one or more wicked problems but this takes years to achieve. If that is all your lab does it is very vulnerable to being cut in the gap between action and results. I find it helpful to think of a portfolio of initiatives — a couple of flagship systems change projects and a larger number of rapid engagements. The rapid engagements demonstrate the lab’s value to the organization, build organizational awareness and capacity, and provide the cover to keep a more sustained effort on the systems change initiatives going.

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