Due to personal curiosity, I attended a Design Thinking Basic Training at the beginning of this year and afterwards (my thanks go to Brainbirds and René Andersen) I was so inspired and motivated that I directly booked deepening seminars and above all planned a Gravning Design Thinking Workshop …. Then this project was also turned upside down in spring. An in-depth seminar turned into an online event; in order to impart knowledge, you can deal with Design Thinking online, but in my opinion, result-oriented work in the sense of innovation and with a lot of fun only works together and in a “real” room.
At the end of August the time had come; the Gravning Design Thinking Workshop was due to take place, although my colleagues did not know or had only a limited idea of what to expect – the calendar entry “Creative Workshop” was deliberately chosen to be meaningless. While I had initially planned to have the workshop prepared and accompanied by a Design Thinking Coach, I quickly decided to apply what I had learned so far (self-experiment part I) and take on this role myself. So on the one hand I had to prepare a short introduction to the topic and on the other hand (and most importantly) define a suitable challenge for my colleagues to deal with.
After having been allowed to optimise the first aid experience as well as the “church experience” in the Design Thinking seminars I attended, I decided to look for a challenge for our workshop that was a little closer to our industry… which, if you take the first reaction as a basis, didn’t make it much easier (but more about that later).
The second part of the self-experiment began with a consideration of the topic of innovation as well as a short introduction to the basics of Design Thinking and especially to the six phases (or five phases, but here I am orienting myself on the Hasso Plattner Institute) of this method. At 10 o’clock my colleagues were informed „You now have six hours to go through the complete cycle once and come to a result for the following challenge: Shape the perception of consulting in such a way that the necessary transformation of banking is successful“. Well, and now? With the help of semantic analysis and a charette (Who are our users and what are their needs?) the problem was successively encircled. An interview with a departmental director of a bank helped to understand the problem from the customer’s point of view and then to derive a concrete position via a persona.
After a short lunch break, the next task was to come up with ideas; true to the motto quantity beats (first of all) quality, Crazy Eight helped to identify very different approaches to solving the problem. Stimulated discussions during the decision for an idea and during the prototyping process led to the conclusion of the Design Thinking cycle, the test of the developed idea. Since we did not want to test this idea only among our colleagues, from whom it originated, we were able to welcome the department director, who had already been interviewed, and a product owner of another bank as “testers”.
My colleagues presented the prototype, answered questions from the two testers and refined the original idea during the discussion. The fact that we came to the conclusion together with the testers after the presentation and the feedback session that it would be worthwhile to deepen and develop the idea both from the bank’s (and thus the customer’s) and Gravning’s point of view (inclusion in the backlog has already been done) says a lot about the quality of the results, but also about the potential of the method. But most of all about the fact that the Gravning team was fully engaged in this surprising task and the specifications of the Design Thinking. @Gravning: I would like to thank you for this; I enjoyed accompanying you throughout this process!
If, after two Design Thinking seminars and especially after our self-experiment, I am now asked whether Design Thinking is not only a suitable approach for our clients, but also for a consulting firm like Gravning, then I can only answer “yes” very definitely. Next time, however, we will take more time than just 6 hours.