Design, visualisation and storytelling at Deloitte and its contribution to business strategy

design, visualisation, storytelling, strategy, business, consulting, experience

As the value of design as strategy becomes ever more apparent across the business landscape, organisations are beginning to invite designers to sit at the leadership table. In 2008, Deloitte Australia embarked on the journey to transform itself from a traditional professional services firm to a bold innovator. In 2011, Deloitte made the commitment to use design thinking to help them get there (Howard, 2012; FutureNow Australia, 2014). Deloitte would be ‘Different by Design’, a program led by Maureen Thurston, the firm’s Principal of Design, which has seen Deloitte embrace all that can happen at the intersection of design and business. In doing so, Deloitte has undertaken number of internal projects and initiatives, and offers differentiated client experiences supported by design thinking. In March 2014, Deloitte established a small and agile Design, Visualisation, and Storytelling (DVS) Team within Deloitte Consulting. The DVS Team assists Deloitte Consulting to solve real world problems using design, visualisation and storytelling to create meaningful impact for clients and their customers. To do this, our team uses three key practices:

  • Design Thinking: To facilitate design-led problem solving guided by the Deloitte Design Process
  • Visualisation: A tool to powerfully communicate, collaborate and engage our senses
  • Storytelling: To create and tell stories, bringing meaning to work we do and engaging our imagination.

In this paper we discuss and explore the value of design, visualisation and storytelling in the context of Deloitte. We unpack the DVS practices through two case studies and reflect on how we work in the business to make design the DNA of the firm, and for the business to bring design, visualisation and storytelling to the Deloitte client experience. As an emerging and growing team, we don’t seek to provide answers, but demonstrate the things we have been doing which create meaningful impact for the teams and clients we work with. Among our team, we have seen our roles as designers rapidly change and expand. We believe that the combination of design visualisation and storytelling is both unique and powerful in creating a positive impact on the work we do. We believe that the opportunities at the intersection of design and business are only limited to the imagination of designers, business people, and the clients we serve.


Dr Lauren Tan


Shane Currey


Irit Pollak


John Hayles


Craig Hutchinson