Design: The Key to Business Transformation

We Built A Practice Around Design Transformation

At Code and Theory, we practice what we promote. The business we are today is not the business we were 10 years ago, four years ago, or even two years ago. Because when you are fearless in the face of change, you force everyone else to keep up.

Classic digital transformation is often a reactionary optimization to create incremental improvements. We believe we need a new definition and a new practice of transformation that is design-driven. We can harness the power of the design process and thinking to fundamentally change the way companies operate. Design Transformation at Code and Theory operates in service of generating future value. Internally, we position organizations to evolve their capabilities, foster a human-centric culture, and unite upon a shared vision. Externally, we enable businesses to identify new opportunities, invent solutions — and ship rapidly. Put simply, we design innovation and organization.

Begin Your Transformation

Our guide will help you kick off your business transformation by guiding you through six of our approaches so you can choose which will be the most successful for your organization.

Download the guide to Design Transformation

Who needs design transformation?

In our survey of business leaders, we found that at least 68% don’t believe they have the right culture for transformation — or the processes in place to be successful for even the next 5-7 years. And with tectonic disruptions being driven by new advancements in AI, your organization’s ability to evolve, to adapt, and to transform will be put to the test. It’s clear that a new approach is needed. Here are our four core offerings:

  1. Vision alignment
  2. Product and service innovation
  3. Process acceleration
  4. Reimagine company culture

Vision Alignment

  • 01

    Get everyone on board

    Many organizations struggle with uncertainty and ambiguity when it comes to their capacities for change. One of the most important parts of any business transformation is the creation of a single, shared vision — in addition to the long-term goals and roadmaps required to get there. But aligning all the key players on a singular vision is often more crucial — and more difficult — than creating the vision itself. Afterall, a vision without followers won’t make an impact.

  • 02

    Start creating, now

    Aligning on a fresh, company-wide vision involves thinking creatively, making decisions, and prototyping immediately. Strategic choices need to be understood as early in the process as possible so that everyone feels heard and a consensus is reached.

  • 03

    Rally around one vision

    Case Study —

    A leading technology brand wanted to pivot from the commoditized products they’ve been offering to higher-value solutions and services. But their internal teams had competing priorities, with 80+ diffuse and unnecessary digital tools, websites, and platforms.

And Service Innovation

Get To The Heart Of The Problem

Inventing entirely new offerings is hard for any organization. And when innovation does happen, it often fails to address the root problems obstructing the creation of valuable products and experiences. We’ve seen how silos and status quo thinking get in the way of true creativity. Our solution: provocation, deep-thinking, and immersive problem solving.


Make space for creativity

We follow a design-driven, user-centric approach by creating safe spaces in which teams can collaborate, interrogate problems, and generate bold ideas. It’s why we start by diagnosing problems thoroughly and immersing ourselves in the users’ needs, barriers, and mindsets. Through hypothesis mapping, prototyping, testing, and iterating, we build sustainable business value by generating ideas for products and services that move the needle while minimizing risk.


Case Study

Get into the right mindset

A large financial institution sought to reimagine the future of consumer banking, but its risk-averse attitude was getting in the way. To encourage a more creative mindset, Code and Theory developed a bespoke digital incubator where we worked with 50 unique product teams within the company to co-create products through experimentation.

Over two years, we brainstormed, crafted, and tested our ideas. We discovered creative new ways to maximize asset deposits across audiences, promote financial literacy, and tap into passive and active behaviors to grow funds.

Our incubator program was so successful, it paved the way for a new innovation department at the bank — where our culture of experimentation proved how design-led processes reduce the fear of failure and spark new opportunities.

Process Acceleration

  • 01

    Fail fast, succeed faster

    Transformation initiatives fail because teams spend too much time in a discovery and strategy phase attempting to “get it right” from the start. But adverse consequences resulting from a strategic decision may not surface until after the entire process is finished. Organizations that can execute on ideas early learn to fail fast and iterate even faster. Knowing this, we help organizations confidently implement ideas and accelerate their transformation.

  • 02

    Use our Expertise

    Because of our decades of experience launching products and our comfort with experimentation, we’ve developed effective collaboration models and methods to drive team consensus and actionable project checklists to expedite transformation.

  • 03

    Reinvent the ideation process

    Case Study

    When a large asset management company needed to develop an authenticated advisor portal, 40 Code and Theory employees joined an in-house team to help build it from the ground up. Agency staffers from strategy, to UX, to design worked side by side with client experts to brainstorm requirements and quickly iterate ideas, turning these whiteboard ideas into a live product in just six months. We simultaneously harnessed user-centric design to create a customized, Agile process that allows the firm’s teams to navigate internal challenges with ease. With this new process and a seamless, up-and-running portal working smoothly, we handed things over to the firm to launch future versions, helping bring their new vision to life.

Company Culture

Overcome the status quo

An organization’s internal culture is one of the most important factors in its success. If that culture avoids taking risks, the business can stagnate. We help organizations create safe spaces for experimentation, embrace ambiguity, and foster an obsession with problem solving — reprogramming an organization’s culture to get comfortable with experimentation and evolution.


Transform from the inside out

We spend roughly half of our time with clients educating them on using our user-centric, design-led approach to solve the internal challenges impeding a successful transformation.

Case Study

Rethink internal capabilities

A Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company tapped Code and Theory to reimagine their relationship with healthcare providers using AI. After an in-depth audit of the current company process, we taught internal teams how to center customer needs and take advantage of design-led thinking to solve problems. Together, we defined a long-term roadmap for innovation, and with the newly developed company innovation team, we analyzed every stage of the patient care journey and created two viable prototypes to upgrade how healthcare providers and patients interact with the brand. Working with cross-functional teams within the organization helped employees develop new skills and set up a roadmap for M&A and technical investment to create long-term growth.

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