What is Design Thinking? Musings of a business consultant, Part 4

24 Nov 2009|Leigh Marinner

My current thought about how Cheskin AV can continue to leverage the skills of Customer Insight, Design Thinking, and Business Consulting on innovation projects is to try to increase the involvement of people with different kinds of learning styles. Since much of what I understand is Design Thinking involves approaching problems from different points of view and feeling comfortable applying different sets of tools, integrating people on a project who are inherently comfortable in different approaches makes sense.

The Accenture Award-winning paper “Innovation as a Learning Process: Embedding Design Thinking” by Sara Beckman and Michael Barry talks about it in this way: “Role assignments on teams might be best made based on learning style: Leader (concrete experience), artist (reflective observation), writer (abstract conceptualization) and speaker (active experimentation).”

There are challenges to implementing this approach. A skills assessment needs to include learning styles. Not all projects can support the overhead of having a large team, so we need to figure out how to move people in and out of projects on a part-time basis. We’ve made good strides toward this objective with our internal Brainstorming Sessions, that have proven so valuable. This will be fun to continue to work on, and will increase our understanding of the contributions made by the different disciplines to great client results.

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