Defining Innovation as the process of changing an existing state of affairs into a preferred one fosters research of different and unusual alternatives of action, thus leading to analyze it through a design perspective.

Innovation processes complexity lies in several aspects: the uncertainty of future-oriented activity, the investment of resources and its associated risks. Moreover, the organization in which the process takes place is a complex system itself. It is made of networks of communications, as the result of the interaction among a number of heterogeneous actors, evolving within an ever-changing and competitive environment.

Traditionally top management is responsible to steadily make sense of unexpected and dynamic situations that are characterized by unfamiliarity and diverse scale and speed of escalation and nonetheless to manage the social and organizational complexity through models that strive to highlight the structure of the system. Likely, these managerial visions are communicated to people in the organization at a later stage. When this happens through visualizations they usually take either the form of  highly metaphoric and motivational representation of functions, activities and roles, or of strictly operative tools. The formers emphasize the value and the link between every activity, and suggest the company’s “big picture” and purpose; the latters manage data information and sets of predefined actions responding to people’s need to know how to fulfill tasks in everyday context.

The claim of the thesis is that a company’s innovative intelligence is to be found in its social systems, and that people, through their heterogeneous relations, are form-givers who shape organizations and design processes; it follows the need for a system able to combine project risk evaluation with the complex and multifaceted structure of relationships, which operates less for foreseeability and piloting and more to build awareness, kinship and vision.

Developing the final project and visualizing risk evaluation, people networks and how people’s relations mediate projects implementation, special care has been taken in stirring metaphoric and operative representation, as the problematic frame people have to deal with depends on the way they metaphorically represent the situation being faced.

Such system, whose interface has been designed as the final project, is to be intended as a platform for cross-pollination, learning, heritage archives of trials and errors, as long as a supporting tool which catalyzes creative value to be exploited and to have an impact on the whole organization. It could be used for diagnostic and decision-making purposes, as well as for evaluating the flows of propagation within the organization, with the intention to make it more responsive to change and visionary of strategy.

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    http://hdl.handle.net/10589/93961