Design
Thinking

I am a big fan of Design Thinking (DT), a methodology championed by institutes like D-schools at Stanford and Potsdam, the design firm Ideo (Kelley brothers: David & Tom, Tim Brown), Prof. Karl Ulrich of Wharton and others. I have been facilitating workshops on Design Thinking in Corporates, in not-for-profit organizations and in various institutes like IIM Bangalore, TISS Mumbai, IIT Kanpur, S P Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bangalore for students and teachers. I have been lucky to get collaborators like Lakshman Pachineela and Raghu Kolli.

What is Design Thinking? There is no one view depicting DT. However, here is my view of 4 core tenets of Design Thinking. For more about this, please see blog.



Why Design Thinking? I like DT because of its emphasis on two E’s - Empathy and Experimentation. I believe empathy is one of the most under-represented concepts in our education system and it plays a crucial role in framing the right problem. Similarly, experimentation – prototyping – getting-your-hands-dirty has acquired a negative connotation in my part of the world (India). Many people believe that once they find the “right” idea, their job is done. What an illusion! I like DT because the process makes sure you go back and validate your ideas and refine them. No matter whether you are from a support function, an Engineering function, a Marketing function, you can apply DT in your context.

What happens in a DT workshop? DT workshops are of different duration. You can get a glimpse of the methodology in an hours’ time. A two-day workshop involves an hour of field work and an hour of field-testing of your prototype. A DT workshop typically covers all the five steps depicted in the picture above. Here are highlights of a DT workshop I co-facilitated in Bangalore where the participants studied various queues (St. Johns Hospital, Electricity Board bill payment, Railway reservation, Fast food joints), framed a problem, proposed solutions, prototyped them and did field-testing. More about the workshop here.



Highlights of Design Thinking program held in Bangalore from vpdabholkar



A DT workshop with housekeeping staff: One of the unique features of DT is that it be appreciated by senior management and illiterate people as well. I got an opportunity to co-facilitate a DT workshop for housekeeping staff at Agastya International Foundation (a not-for-profit organization). The ladies ended up implementing many of their solutions at Agastya premises. You can read more about it here. Here are highlights of the workshop:



Please feel free to contact me at vinay@catalign.com in case you are looking for a Design Thinking workshop.