Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2014

Making Progress at IDEO

by Teresa M. Amabile and Katrina Flanagan


This case focuses on different types of client relationships at IDEO, the value of these relationships for IDEO and clients, and the implications for IDEO designers' everyday experience of work. As new types of client work have shifted away from the more classic design projects, there may be accompanying shifts in designers' engagement and motivation. The case illustrates the importance of progress and meaning to IDEO designers, and it poses the questions: Which types of client work keep designers most motivated and engaged at work, and what are the implications for the client relationships IDEO should pursue?

Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Motivation and Incentives; Employees; Customer Focus and Relationships; Service Industry;


Amabile, Teresa M., and Katrina Flanagan. "Making Progress at IDEO." Harvard Business School Case 814-123, June 2014.