Big Chef-Little Chef: The Bear Traps and Pitfalls that can Hinder Design Thinking

By Cameron Watt and Nicholas Ind.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper we explore some common problems, mistakes and threats faced by those using Design Thinking techniques to highlight the impact they can have on stakeholder relationships, creative outputs and the uptake of innovations. To aid us in our discussion we will analyze a recent television series aired in the UK in 2009 called ‘Big Chef Takes on Little Chef’ that follows the attempt by celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal, to radically transform the menu and customer experience at roadside restaurant chain, Little Chef.

Keywords: Design Thinking, Creativity, Client Relations, Innovation, Creative Process, Design Process

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.33-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 747.356KB).

Dr. Cameron Watt

Lecturer, Consultant and Author, University of Warwick, Stourton Caundle, Dorset, UK

Cameron has worked in the creative industry for over 20 years. After completing his MBA in 1994 he continued in the industry brand development for organisations such as Tesco, Microsoft and Rolls Royce. His PhD. focused on role of trust and stakeholder relationships in facilitating creativity in organizations. He lectures widely on the subject of creativity, innovation and branding at a number of universities and design schools including Warwick Manufacturing Group, Kingston Business School and the University for the Creative Arts. In terms of research he has been working with the National Health Service independently and in conjunction with Warwick University investigating the implementation and diffusion of Lean Thinking and the use of Human Rights constructs to improve service provision. In a consultancy role he acts as a creativity, change and innovation diffusion consultant for a number of organisations including IBM, Sainsburys, Creative and Cultural Skills Ltd and The British Council. In addition he also designs, develops and runs executive courses for SME business leaders across the creative industries and has published numerous articles as well as being co-author of ‘Inspiration: capturing the creative potential of your organization’ and ‘Corporate Creativity’.

Dr. Nicholas Ind

Associate Professor, School of Innovation, Oslo School of Management, Oslo, Norway

Nicholas Ind is a, lecturer, writer and branding consultant. He is a partner of the consulting firm, Equilibrium Consulting. He is the author of a number of articles, academic papers and ten books including ‘The Corporate Image’ (1990) – selected as a business book of the year; the best selling, ‘Terence Conran – The Authorised Biography’ (1995); ‘The Corporate Brand’ (1997), ‘Living the Brand’ (2001), ‘Inspiration’ (2004), ‘Branding Governance’ (2007) and ‘The Organic Organisation’ (2009). He was also the editor of ‘Beyond Branding’ (2003). Nicholas is a former Director of the Design Business Association, a member of the advisory board of Corporate Reputation Review, the editorial board of the Journal of Brand Management and an Industrial Fellow at Kingston University. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Innovation at Oslo School of Management, Visiting Professor at Napier University, Edinburgh and at ESADE, Barcelona.


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