How to sabotage an organisation

admin Day 1, Items, Presentation

Designing for distinction


Designing services and experiences requires cooperation and understanding between a range of people; it requires an adaptive, nimble organisation. Our talk will tell you how to sabotage and undermine all that. Inspired by a CIA manual on sabotage, we select and present some of the most effective tips as anti-patterns for modern, collaborative service design. We expand on these points, setting them in the context of our day-to-day work, as designers and innovators, highlighting the damage that can be done. We’ll also outline a practical game that you can use to solve problems creatively using anti-patterns.


Our innovation is that, by using selected anti-patterns, we invite the audience to play “devil’s advocate” for a change, and to consider how to design terrible services! Wikipedia defines an anti-pattern as “a common response to a recurring problem that is usually ineffective and risks being highly counterproductive”. Considering anti-patterns for solving problems can be a powerful way to help designers (and others!) to approach a problem with a new perspective, unencumbered by the need to “get it right”. Many of the “tips” we present are simple, logical, and avoidable… and yet we see them so often, preventing us from realising great service and experience design, and from collaborating effectively. In this talk, we approach that challenge a little differently.









Speaker Info

Francis Rowland
Sigma Consulting Solutions Ltd.

Learn more about him

Speaker Info

Michele Ide-Smith
European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI)

Learn more about her