This post is a letter to everyone at 100 Shapes. Now and in the future. We’re designers; trained to fix any kind of problem. Our backgrounds cover physics, graphic design, computer engineering, politics and architecture. We can use this knowledge to find a creative solution to anything.

So, which problems should we solve?

The beautiful thing about being able to solve anything is that it has broad appeal. We’re useful no matter what, i.e. “give 100 Shapes any challenge, we’ll find a solution”. This is the logic that led to our Design Sprints initiative. I’m confident in our ideas – we don’t propose them if we’re not sure that they’ll make a positive impact and making a positive impact is valuable to people.

So if our talent is valuable, it deserves respect. I want to use it wisely. This is why the question of “what should we do?” is important to me.

As MD, I have a responsibility to keep us valuable to our clients, because it’s my duty to keep us in business. I’m entirely focused on which problems we should solve.

Change is a powerful tool, but it takes a massive effort for our clients to do. ITV for example, invested in a 5-year long programme of work to modernise their Content Supply Chain with us. Hundreds of people are involved in the effort. When organisations deliberately decide to change, they’re motivated by a powerful incentive. If they don’t hit their targets, they risk falling behind. They’re thinking about the future of what they do, just like I am for 100 Shapes.

There’s a lot at stake when doing what we do. We need to get things right. After all, our clients trust us and we’ve all worked hard to build a reputation for high-quality work and craftsmanship.

To make sure we’re doing the right thing, we need to put our talents to the most challenging, most significant problems which exist for our clients.

We need to have a huge impact; to leave a mark. A meaningful mark.

This mark is not inconsequential. It’s not insignificant. It cannot be neglected or ignored. It makes the biggest difference to have the largest possible impact.

For organisations who employ thousands of people, that doesn’t just mean designing products like ITV Craft (as proud of it as I am) or producing a proof of concept for Content Scheduling at the BBC (proud of that too!). It’s not an individual project or a relationship with a team. It’s more involved than that.

Our mission is this: we must work to make the biggest possible positive change for the users of our products.

The mark that’s meaningful changes the way our client works; it changes what the team is capable of. To change something that’s so deep and powerful to the organisation; so woven into the fabric of the business, we need to affect something at its heart: the staff.

Staff aren’t just the operators of the machines, or the triggers of cloud-based, fully-automated, AI-backed workflows. They are the culture, the driving force and personality. They enable the business to function.

Without staff, change is not possible. If we want to transform organisations, the staff must come first. As designers, experts in HCI, we know how to involve these employees as part of our process.

We work so that people love work.

The work will be challenging. It will require your time and passion. You will do more design. You will process thoughts harder but make no mistake, we will succeed.

We will do important work.

We will make the most meaningful mark.