When the car company uses dominant design, they may not even know they’re doing so.

When they see the company starting to mirror the most important parts of its product – that’s dominant design.

If the engine and chassis are more important than the radio and the seat covers (and in most car companies, they probably are), then dominant design in the company will probably show up as a big focus on structure and productivity. The motor and the main skeleton are what drives (sorry) the business.

And this doesn’t just show up in key objectives or operating style – the dominant design can appear through branding, hierarchy, communications, culture.

We’ve probably all got some dominant design elements in our work.

We can change the dominant design if we choose to – but it helps if we identify and understand its purpose first.

Have you seen it?

Dominant Design

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