Whose job is it to be great at Experience Design? At Intuit, they believe it's every employee's job.
Scott Cook, Intuit's founder and former CEO, is still actively involved in shaping the culture of the company. Although he doesn't have a formal operational role, he acts as the informal Chief Design Officer. Scott is very active in ensuring that people throughout the company have experience design capabilities. On a quarterly basis, Scott invites all employees to participate in live webinar sessions where they learn best practices from world-class design-thinking leaders. In the past, speakers included CEOs from great companies like Kayak.com, Nest, and Evernote or senior leaders from firms like Apple, Pixar, and IDEO. Stanford Design School personnel helped train Intuit employees how to turn design thinking principles into action. The quarterly sessions are highly interactive and engaging. Scott seeks continual feedback to continually improve the effectiveness of the sessions.
Another way that Intuit builds the capabilities is through creating a group of innovation specialists called Innovation Catalysts (ICs). ICs are employees selected to learn deep skills in design thinking and facilitation. They dedicate about 10-20% of their time to helping teams innovate on customer experiences. ICs come from a variety of functions throughout the company.
Finally, Intuit follows a methodology called Design4Delight (D4D) which was created by studying the world's finest experience design organizations and working with the Stanford D school. D4D consists of three key principles that create the foundation for design thinking capabilities - Deep Customer Empathy, Go Broad to Go Narrow, and Rapid Experiments with Customers.
For more information, check out the Harvard Business Review article on Intuit's IC program and D4D principles. http://hbr.org/2011/06/the-innovation-catalysts/ar/1