Original Paper

Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 257-279

First online:

IDEA: A Collaborative Organizational Design Process Integrating Innovation, Design, Engagement, and Action

  • Donald W. de GuerreAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University Email author 
  • , Daniel SéguinAffiliated withDesirable Futures
  • , Alicia PaceAffiliated withPace Consulting
  • , Noel BurkeAffiliated withSchool of Extended Learning, Concordia University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


This paper describes an innovative and successful 1-year organization change process. It captures a design-based inquiry that simultaneously applies creative, purposeful, and systemic thinking to a complex set of issues. Three significant findings result from this research. First, this paper discusses how the change process created the necessary and sufficient conditions allowing for the creation of an innovative organizational design that embeds both optimization and innovation. Second, Design Thinking was used to develop a 2-day participative design process we have called IDEA, an acronym for integrating innovation, design, engagement, and action. We believe that the IDEA organizational design process is replicable. Third, it describes an emergent and co-created change process. This paper concludes by raising questions for future transformative organizational design efforts.


Innovation Organizational design Design thinking Organizational change Engagement