Innovation is about creating change – changing ourselves, our teams, the culture of our big organizations, and a lot of the world that is beyond our control. No wonder change is hard. While processes and tools can help, they aren’t what matters. Decades of innovation experience has taught me that real innovation always comes from insightful, innovative people working in an environment where there is clarity and alignment about the desired outcomes of change. The real barriers are human. It’s the team dynamics that constrains thinking and produces soul-crushing risk-avoidance, fear and uncertainty. We help your team overcome these barriers by engaging playfully with ideas that connect to purpose, catalyzing strategies and building energetic alignment, and creating a culture that embraces not just innovation but the courageous actions required to make meaningful change happen.
Design Management: Darrel created systems for managing design development for the largest companies in the world, and managed global programs in industrial design, branding, corporate identity, packaging, architecture, interior design, experience design, and interaction design. Innovation: Darrel has taught innovation and led initiatives of all types. Strategy: He is a seasoned facilitator of strategic conversations. Design Research: As a pioneer in applied research, Darrel managed many thousands of quantitative, qualitative and ethnographic studies over decades, and taught research extensively. Management: Darrel is a former CEO of private and public companies.
Darrel’s extremely broad background spans many industries, including consumer products, food and beverage, consumer electronics, telecommunications, software, gaming, sporting goods, pharmaceuticals, financial services, agriculture, medical devices, industrial chemicals, industrial technologies, mining, construction, building materials, energy, automotive, airlines, fashion and apparel, textiles, media, personal care, professional services, non-profits, and retailing. Darrel’s impressive client experience includes the who’s who of global organizations and category leaders such as Apple, Nike, Microsoft, Coke, AT&T, Amex, Levi, 3M, Walmart, Milliken, P&G, and many others.
As CEO of Cheskin Added Value (now Kantar Consulting), he built a highly influential global consulting powerhouse. As Vice Chairman of The Design Management Institute (DMI, the leading authority on design management with 24,000 professionals in 40 countries) he championed the dramatic evolution of professional design practices. As Managing Partner of Xinova and Chief Design Officer of Technology Reserve, Darrel helped design a new global platform for transforming the economics of innovation and intellectual property. He is on the Board of Directors of Mattson & Company, the premier food innovation consultancy. He has sat on a number of Advisory Boards for institutions like Weatherhead School of Management, University of Washington Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering, and MIT Collaborative Initiatives. Darrel was honored with the Jay Doblin Award for Design Theory.
Darrel is passionate about applying Design and creativity to make big change happen in the world. He is devoted to helping people in organizations find their noble purpose and creating the necessary clarity and alignment to mobilize significant change. He believes that the most critical change needed by organizations comes from realization they exist to serve people, and a conscious application of design can be used to create extraordinary levels of value, delight and meaning. Zealous about learning, Darrel helps others to become more insightful and is happiest mentoring or teaching executive teams to realize their dreams. He is a fine artist, painter, photographer. As avid yachtsman, he explores the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest to find inspiration for his art.