New IDSA Member Benefit

Grow Partners with IDSA to Offer Members Industry-leading Education

May 19 2017 - 11:26am

According to a recent Gallup survey, about 70 percent of managers are not well equipped for the job—trying to balance demanding workloads in a state of constant change, while leaning on traditional and often outdated general design or management education backgrounds. Now, the world’s leading professional educator in design management and design leadership is teaming up with IDSA to offer a new member benefit through Grow. To learn more about the Grow-IDSA partnership, visit

Grow is a professional educational program backed by nearly two decades of career insights from PARK, a team of design management consultants and leaders that has been empowering design professionals from many of the world’s leading brands Some of the world’s largest corporations have retooled their design strategies, operating structures and processes following Grow’s curriculum, which provides real-world insight into innovating faster and more efficiently and profitably.

That includes companies such as 3M, Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, Hasbro, Novo Nordisk, Kimberly Clark, Sony, Accenture, Mars, Honda, Samsonite, Newell Brands and more. Grow’s sister company, PARK, provides the teaching staff who are leading experts.

“Grow was born from the frequent request of PARK clients due to unmet needs of traditionally trained designers lacking management capabilities,” explains Jay Peters, IDSA, managing partner and director of Grow USA who spoke at IDSA's Education Symposium 2015. “It’s the first-of-its-kind education program for design and innovation professionals, presented in a rich, dynamic format.”

"I'm thrilled to have Grow join us to bring deep insights to the design leadership process, from a consultancy perspective," says IDSA Executive Director Daniel Martinage, CAE. "We feel the real-world outlook they've gained working with Fortune 500 companies in the last 20 years will help our members grow in their own companies and in their careers as design professionals." 

In the last five years, more than 500 designers, managers, directors, engineers, programmers and marketers have gone through the full or partial program—resulting in bottom-line improvements. Additionally, custom e-learning programs have been developed to reach thousands of in-house non-designers so they can better understand the value of design.

The curriculum is comprised of industry-leading theories, models, definitions, exclusive case studies, expert interviews, while self-reflections and competency assessments directly make the program personable. Grow’s success and return on investment is attributed to applying all learnings back to the participant’s daily roles through assignments to ensure applicability and solutions for at-work challenges they need to address. The program is delivered through a mix of live teaching, remote learning and one-on-one coaching. Program participants, also bring forward a great deal of insights and experience to share—all the while coaching, challenging and collaborating with one another thus taking the program merit even higher.

The program teaches the fundamentals of managing and leading design while addressing fundamental aspects such as design:, process, briefing, tools, quality, research, resources, value, research and language.

Grow is proud to kick off the IDSA partnership by hosting a workshop at the IDSA Midwest District Design Conference 2017, set from April 28 to 29 in Milwaukee, WI. This workshop, scheduled at 2pm on April 28 and led by PARK consultant Natalie Schraufnagel, IDSA, will address the conference theme, Radical Concepts, with unique insider perspectives on design management and design leadership, including real-world case studies from some of the world’s top design-centric organizations. Hands-on exercises will allow participants to apply the learnings and collaborate around this topic, with the aim of providing  insights into faster and more effective ways to innovate, communicate, manage—and ultimately lead—radical concepts in design.