Thursday, October 5, 2017

Design Thinking: An Experience Report

“I must admit that playing with Lego bricks is a little crazy for an adult. I hate to think what fellow-managers would have said if they had seen me with the brightly colored building blocks, plastic trees and figures. But after a brief phase of skepticism and restraint the other participants and I were all aglow because it really was fun, which sadly isn’t always the case in everyday working life. In the Agile Business Model Innovations workshop we presented our ideas by building them with Lego bricks – not an easy task but an effective one. This method is based on these three principles:

PLAY. Participants work in small groups. As they play they naturally compete for the best ideas, which are then questioned or further developed, with the team members taking each other forward.


VISUALIZE. Abstract ideas are made visible and we can reach out and touch them. Studies show that people learn better when they make models for their ideas.


FLESH OUT. As we shape our ideas, thoughts that are as yet unclear become visible. That helps us to deal with them. We participants were constantly asking ourselves whether our elements were important for the idea or we had forgotten something important.

The Lego phase was only one part of the workshop. We developed answers to specific problems, such as how industrial cleaning can be made more effective by using digital aids and robots. Using this example we tried out with Professor Ihl the three focal points of the workshop: understanding and analyzing customers’ problems, describing and updating business models, testing and implementing business ideas. I learnt in the workshop many useful methods that I have since put to professional use.”

 

Report published in Business & People Magazine on September 22, 2017.

 


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