Design to Grow

How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility (and How You Can Too)

Design to Grow

Expert advice from Coca-Cola’s Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Learn how the world’s largest beverage brand uses design to grow its business by combining the advantages of a large-scale company with the agility of a nimble startup.

Every company needs both scale and agility to win. From a fledging startup in Nepal, to a century-old multinational in New York, scale and agility are two qualities that are essential to every company’s success. Start-ups understand agility. They know just when to pivot to stay alive. But what they haven’t mastered yet is how to stabilize their business model so they can move to the next stage and become full-fledged companies. And well-established companies know scale. They are successful because they know how to leverage size with a high degree of effectiveness and efficiency. But what worries them most is staying competitive in a world of increasing uncertainty and change, complicated by upstarts searching for ways to disrupt the industry. So what is the key to creating the kind of scale and agility necessary to stay competitive in this day and age? The answer is design.

In Design to Grow, a Coca-Cola senior executive shares both the successes and failures of one of the world’s largest companies as it learns to use design to be both agile and big. In this rare and unprecedented behind-the-scenes look, David Butler and senior Fast Company editor, Linda Tischler, use plain language and easy-to-understand case studies to show how this works at Coca-Cola—and how other companies can use the same approach to grow their business. This book is a must-read for managers inside large corporations as well as entrepreneurs just getting started.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451676266 | 
  • February 2016
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About the Authors

David Butler
Photograph by Brett Falcon

David Butler

David Butler is the Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The Coca-Cola Company and is responsible for Coca-Cola’s Accelerator Program designed to generate early-stage, high-growth startups. Under David’s leadership, Coca-Cola has been recognized with numerous design awards, including the prestigious Grand Prix from the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. In 2009, David was recognized by Fast Company as a “Master of Design” and by Fortune for its 2013 Executive Dream Team. David is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Design and Innovation.

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Linda Tischler
Photograph by Malcolm Brown

Linda Tischler

Linda Tischler is an award-winning editor at Fast Company magazine, where she writes about the intersection of design and business. She helped launch Fast Company’s design website, FastCoDesign.com, which is now the web’s largest design site. Prior to joining Fast Company, Tischler was an editor at Boston Magazine, where she initiated the New England Design Awards. She has also written for Metropolitan Home, The Boston Globe, and Huffington Post and held editing and writing jobs at the Boston Herald and Microsoft’s Sidewalk.com.

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