I am Richard Colwill, founder of VODASY Ltd.
My interest in design started early. My father was a Graphic Designer and an enthusiastic proponent of good design. I was regaled with the pros and cons of the Helvetica font and the genius behind our Volkswagen Beetle (even when it was not working) compared to our poor old Triumph Herald.
I secured my first design role as a Trainee Highway Engineer at eighteen. In subsequent years I have had a wide range of roles. There are very few combinations of the words Project, Programme, Design, Development, Client, Sponsor, Director, Coordinator or Manager that have not been used to describe what I was up to. Whilst the emphasis has changed, the purpose has always been the same. I have been trying to get my client something that they need to make their business work better and whilst what that thing is has varied and the client’s focus has often been more on getting it on time and on budget, the biggest determinant of whether getting ‘it’ worked for that business has been whether ‘it’ was ‘the right thing’ i.e. was the design right.
It would be a simple narrative to say that my career has moved from Project Management, via an epiphany that design was the key to success and on to a specialisation in developing Design Thinking and Design Management skills and methodologies. But I have moved back and forth between the two and from hard to soft projects and back again from working in client teams to design teams and delivery teams as well as a variety of business functions and change teams, all the while trying to establish what ‘it’ is. This has allowed me to see the search for ‘the right thing’ from every angle, done well and done badly. This search for ‘the right thing’ is what I believe design to be. I am fascinated by that search and believe I can bring a wealth of experience to ensuring that your search is cost and time effective and ultimately successful. I have worked with incredibly talented Designers, Project Managers, Business Managers, Planners and Design Managers many of whom I have persuaded to become part of a network of associates that can be brought to bear on commissions as well as more informally allowing me to design a team to suit whatever challenge is thrown at us..
Design Thinking and Design Management principles can be applied to any form of design, whether it be the design of a physical product, business process or customer experience and are applicable across all industries. Very often a fresh approach and some cross pollination from other sectors can help to challenge received wisdom and create new solutions that are very valuable but I accept that sometimes, particularly if you are in a hurry, there are advantages to working with someone who can get up to speed quickly, so here are a few bullet points to help summarise the industries and business functions that I have worked within and what ‘it’ has been.