In this episode of “Both Success And Integrity With Bessi Graham,” Bessi is joined by Brad Graham, the Director of Design and Innovation for Benefit Capital and Founder of Working Design. Together they discuss designerly disposition and how that could help tackle the “wicked problems” in our society.

Discover the distinction between complicated and complex systems, with wicked problems defying traditional solutions. Brad suggests that we embrace a design disposition’s open curiosity and wonder and focus on problem contexts rather than people as the issue. Together, Brad and Bessi unpack the ethical responsibility of redesigning human-made systems and challenge common misconceptions. They also discuss how we can learn the value of provisional quality and failure in the design process by cultivating a radical beginner’s attitude. They also address power dynamics and how we can respect diverse voices to create meaningful change. Get inspired to approach complex issues with empathy and innovation in this enlightening conversation.

Also in this episode: 

  • “Wicked problems” and system science. 
  • No one person or organization can be the answer to every problem. 
  • How to think differently about the role of your business. 
  • Reframing the problem as a human-made problem. 
  • Cultivating a way to enjoy failure. 
  • What starts with management culture?
  • The role of experience in the design process. 
  • Do we need representative voices in design?
  • A radical break from material culture.

About Brad Graham

Brad is the Director of Design and Innovation for Benefit Capital and is the Founder of Working Design. Brad holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Social System Design; his thesis explored new methods of design thinking and dialogue to complex social systems.  For the last 13 years, Brad has worked with Benefit Capital and The Difference Incubator (TDi) to bring methods of design and innovation to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enable them to better tackle complex social challenges. Prior to this, Brad was a Principal at the Australian design firm 2nd Road for 12 years, gaining extensive experience and expertise in strategy and design. He worked with an extensive catalog of large government, commercial, and NGO clients. Brad’s particular expertise was facilitating executive-level strategic dialogue and providing advisory and education services to large organizations seeking to apply design and design thinking to their organizational challenges. Brad also happens to be Bessi’s partner of 20 years and the father of her children!   

Referenced in today’s episode:

The paper by Webber and Rittel

Both Success And Integrity: Business Level Strategy With Social Responsibility

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Connect With Bessi Graham:

Website | Facebook | Private Facebook Group | LinkedIn | Instagram

About Bessi Graham:

With over 20 years of experience working with business owners, governments, and large funding bodies to bring “doing good” and “making money” back together, my experience spans from the grassroots of sitting in the dirt working with business owners across the Pacific Islands through to the United Nations in Geneva. This has given me an unparalleled perspective on what makes change happen. 

You know you were born to do something significant, so don’t leave it to chance.

41. Tackling ‘Wicked Problems’ By Rethinking Human-Made Systems With A Designerly Disposition | feat. Brad Graham

Both Success And Integrity: Business Level Strategy With Social Responsibility