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Design Thinking in 13 Minutes or Less

18 March 2014

Allison watched a video of Darden Professor Jeanne Liedtka presenting a case study about how IBM used design thinking to transform trade shows and reflected on what she’s learned about this practical approach to problem solving.

Tags: allison read, allison watched, design thinking, empathy

Rachel and I first met Professor Jeanne Liedtka when we were students at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. A strategist at heart, Jeanne has been at the forefront of making some of the problem-solving practices of designers more accessible to and useful to business managers.

In the years since our graduation, Rachel and I have continued to learn from Jeanne and the relationship has led to all sorts of interesting developments. Rachel and Jeanne have taught together about design thinking and co-authored a book with Tim Ogilvie called The Designing for Growth Field Book: A Step-by-Step Project Guide. Meanwhile, the Allison Partners team has gotten more involved in delivering design thinking solutions to our clients. In fact, we’re doing so much with design thinking these days that last year we hired innovation expert Geof Hammond to help us share these tools with clients looking for new ways to solve some of their most important organizational development challenges.

If you find yourself wondering, “What is this design thinking thing?,” I believe our blog posts on design thinking provide a good primer. Additionally, Jeanne’s 13-minute video presenting a case study on how IBM used design thinking to transform trade shows offers a short, practical and compelling explanation. If you enjoy the video, I encourage you to sign up for Jeanne’s complimentary one-hour webinar

Although I don’t consider myself a design thinking expert, I’ve found that when I keep the principles of empathy, invention, and iteration in mind, I can often generate new—and sometimes better—alternatives to whatever I’m facing. At its core, that’s what design thinking is all about… in even less than 13 minutes.


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