What can we learn from designers?

Blog - AccelerateChange.co.uk

At the end of February Change Management Institute held an interesting panel discussion on the subject of Design Thinking.

The Design Thinking concept itself, perhaps not that new across the design community, certainly seems to be slowly adopted in practice across other industries. We have been presented with adoption from different sectors where panellists have enthusiastically described its utilisation in their relevant organisations clearly making the case for the new approach and its application.

If you, similarly to me don’t know much about the concept here is what I have learned about it:

What is Design Thinking?

It is essentially a process of finding solutions to problems but in a more collaborative and customer-centric way. It is also been described as a process of creating conditions in which you can learn as you are looking at the problem not within your own frame of reference, but through the eyes of your customer. It is also heavily focused on empathy, which in my opinion helps to create a solution that would be accepted by the customer and get an early buy-in. The standard Design Thinking process as presented in the infographic is based on the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. The five phases of the process form non-linear, iterative and flexible way for designers and users to create a solution based on how users think, feel and behave when faced with a prototype or ‘final’ creation.

All five stages help to frame the customer’s view of the problem and therefore allow change leaders to deliver the solution through empathy, the definition of the problem, creation of various solutions, prototyping and testing.

What tools does Design Thinking use? 


Helps to frame the project or a process in a more humane way by making you think about it in terms of moments and not milestones. What would that moment mean for people, organisations etc.? Adding this emotional lens to it makes you think more about the outcome – is it truly what we desired?


Target Operational Model vs Target Experience Model. Again this is another way of looking at things in a more compassionate, understanding way. What experience will people feel once they go through this process?

There are more tools that can be used and adopted however, I found those two certainly close to my way of thinking.

I would really like to hear your view on the subject and perhaps on its adoption? Have you perhaps used it? Or are using it without realising it is part of the broader concept? Let me know, always looking to broaden my horizons!