Change Ahead

How research and design are transforming business strategy

You need an adventurous mindset in order to grow businesses that last. This book focuses on emerging practices at the intersection of business strategy, research and design.
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Carola Verschoor
Article number: 9789063693985
Availability: In stock


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Change Ahead is about the emerging practices at the intersection of business strategy, research, and design. It introduces the need for an adventurous, explorative mindset in order to grow businesses that last by creating meaning and relevance with and for people.

In a complex and networked world, business, more than ever, is about adaptability to change and the capacity to create new propositions through a dynamic interaction with the environment. Much like sailing, business strategy will increasingly come to be about the ability to steer towards growth through dynamic leadership, empathetic understanding, and skilful use of tools and abilities.

This book reveals the philosophy, working processes, and approaches to business creation and development through research and design. It provides a model for integrating user insights into business strategy beyond the literal understanding of the user and into the creative application of insights for the development of meaningful propositions.

It is a must-read in these changing times because it discusses what needs actualization as we emerge out of the industrial model into an age of creative empowerment. Furthermore, it goes beyond the discussion to provide practical tools for businesses in the 21st century to evolve into adaptive systems through an integrative model of learning and doing, understanding and making, research and design. Change Ahead is about the transformative power of research and design within business practice for relevant value creation in a changing world.


Carola Verschoor is the founder of GROH! ( She is an innovator, growth agent, brand builder, creative doer, marketing strategist, and foodie. Her natural habitat is where innovation, marketing and design intersect.

Carola loves challenges and believes that growth is achieved through a healthy mix of creativity, daring to believe in new possibilities, business-sense, and a passion for making things work. In her practice at GROH! she supports clients in getting through the ‘Grrrr’’’’ of change and into the ‘Ooohhh!’ of suprising, creative results to business problems.

Carola has worked for over 20 years for and with some of the world’s largest branded goods companies. She lives in The Netherlands with her husband and children

'Overall, what Verschoor provides through Change Ahead is a topography of the current business landscape and her thoughts as to how businesses might best navigate into the future. She calls for better integrated design, research, and strategy, and appears to envision the future much as Malex does – a situation wherein “things are interrelated and interconnected, where business is listening and tuning into its environment and where design is shaping things with a purpos.'

‘Change Ahead argues that the integration of three disciplines—research, design, and business strategy—will allow us to build successful organizations that provide meaning to their people. This is a provocative thesis, passionately argued and beautifully illustrated with practical examples. This is a wonderful book that belongs on the shelf of every strategist!’

Costas Markides - London Business School

‘With the changing landscape of problem solving, where a multidisciplinary and multifaceted approach becomes ever more relevant, Change Ahead sets you on the right course towards growing a meaningful business that is actually able to tackle current challenges. At MediaLAB Amsterdam we teach multidisciplinary teams how research, design, and business strategy are interrelated and most of all, in need of each other to create true impact. Change Ahead could easily be our new manual and will be on our bookshelves, with a massive spotlight on it. Highly recommended!’
Marco van Hout - MediaLAB Amsterdam

‘This is a very timely and helpful book. It arrives at a point when researchers are looking to demonstrate that they are now more flexible, holistic and creative in the way they understand people’s needs, and at a point when designers are looking to the customer insight industry for true revelations that can drive great design ideas. The book holds up a mirror to the research and design process and provides the reader with a mental model for going forward to combine the skills of the researcher and designer in driving fantastic design and innovation ideas.’
Dr. David Smith, Director, DVL Smith

‘In today’s business world, this book is a must-read for change leaders! The emphasis on research and design is central for emerging new practices, which are needed to sustain every firm’s competitive advantage. A plus, the interviews illustrate the aim of this book, and make us come back to the basics when we decide to navigate in turbulent seas!’
Nassim Aissa Belbaly 
- Montpellier Business School

‘A fresh and practical way of looking at business, with an inspirational framework that highlights the human aspect of business.’
Pablo Beramendi, Director of Branding – Google

Change without strategy is luck; strategy without design is faith; design without research is wishful thinking. But by connecting these essential processes we can change the world.

It's fantastic to see a beautiful book filled with practical advice and experience from pioneers and experts. This will be a valuable read for anyone making changes based on real human value and on business needs.’
Adam Lawrence - Founding partner WorkPlayExperience

‘(Herbert) Simon said design is the “transformation of existing conditions into preferred ones”. Carola’s Change Ahead highlights the catalyst power of our industry to help better design our future. Carola brings both research and design together for those sailors who are feeling a bit lost in this ever-changing sea.’
Patricio Pagani - Infotools

Change Ahead is a brilliant masterpiece! The book introduces a fresh perspective of how we should change our mindset about Design, Research, and Strategy and how they are connected in a new model for developing sustainable business. An excellent must-read for anyone who is eager to keep up with the pace of the changing world and respond in a proactive and adequate manner.’
Aneliya Evtimova - Future Ideas

The gap between design research and design practice is an ongoing discourse for design management academics. This book provides relevant content about design methods and techniques that could bring the two separated entities together, and have better impact on businesses. I would definitely recommend Change Ahead as a key resource in the reading list for all my Master students.’
Dr. Mersha Aftab - Faculty of Arts Design and Social Science - Northumbria University

“Carola’s integrated approach (of Design, Research and Strategy) will take Innovation to the next level!”
- Bas Dijkstra - Head of Innovation - Tortilla Chips West Europe PepsiCo

‘Joining ideas, breaking myths, and outlining profiles of contemporary winners, this book shows that there is indeed a way to advance through high transformation conditions as we have nowadays.’
- Alejandro Garnica - Independent consultant and Director General - ARIA (Americas Research Industry Alliance)

‘To create meaningful change is to understand what really matters. Sail away with Carola Verschoor and get all the necessary answers.’
- David Carlson - Design strategist and advisor - And author of Make Design Matter  

‘Carola Verschoor's

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