Companies face design challenges every day. Whether creating new consumer experiences, designing new products, or developing ideas to gain market share, companies must adapt to a changing world. Problems are real, complex, and varied. Traditional thinking is no longer a viable option. Today’s challenges require new thinking, new tools, and new approaches.
Design Thinking is a human-centered approach towards problem-solving that sees a problem from the eyes of your end-user—the consumer, the employee, the partner. It is a way of thinking that embraces empathy, inspires creativity, and encourages experimentation to create solutions that meet the needs of the audience for whom you are designing. Design Thinking is a highly-experiential technique any company can employ to generate new ideas to solve problems while achieving maximum consumer benefit.
At Barkley Consulting Group, our team of experts has deep knowledge of Design Thinking through years of practical experience. We use that experience to help companies master Design Thinking to unleash the creativity that exists within their organization. Our experiential workshops, classroom training, and customized activities engage, inspire, and educate participants and deliver the following value:
- Comprehensive knowledge of the Design Thinking approach and how it is used to solve problems and create new opportunities
- A solid understanding of innovation; how to inspire creativity and think innovatively
- How to apply Design Thinking to real-world problems and opportunities
- Valuable professional development skills, including empathy, collaboration, and idea presentation
- How to move rapidly from idea to action using prototyping, experimentation, and iteration
- Changing mindsets to accept failure as a positive force
The best way to learn Design Thinking is to do Design Thinking. We deliver experiential in-person or virtual workshops designed around real issues your organization is facing. Attendees will learn Design Thinking concepts and immediately apply them to a specific need or problem. More importantly, they will leave the workshop with the tools, knowledge, and experience to use Design Thinking in their work the very next day.
On-site seminars that teach the fundamentals of Design Thinking and take business professionals through a variety of exercises to fully learn and experience this innovative approach to problem-solving. These seminars are for professionals who want to understand key Design Thinking concepts but not at the workshop level and are useful as a stand-alone session or as part of an offsite meeting.
For more specific needs, we work side-by-side with clients on a particular Design Thinking project. We provide ongoing counsel, guidance, and support from beginning to end to ensure clients meet their objectives and see results. Training can be provided to internal resources to develop the necessary techniques and skills to lead Design Thinking efforts for your organization.
Our highly experiential workshops teach Design Thinking concepts arranged around real-world challenges faced by your company. More importantly, participants are given the tools, knowledge, and experience to use Design Thinking in their jobs, with internal and external partners, and with customers.
Over the course of the workshop, attendees are exposed to new concepts and methods around human-centered design. They will learn:
- How to empathize with the needs and desires of end-users
- How to define the real problem(s) that need to be solved
- Brainstorming techniques to ideate potential solutions
- Prototyping skills to act quickly on those ideas
- Testing methods to iterate refinements to develop the ideal solution
Attendees will learn key aspects of the process through collaboration, communication, and reflection.
Workshops are given in-person or virtually, in durations from one to five days.
Sample Agenda (2-day In-Person Workshop)
Introduction and Overview
Introduce the participants, goals, and plan for the workshop; review innovative mindset; conduct exercises to get the creative juices flowing.
Design Thinking Concepts
An introduction and overview to the Design Thinking approach; conduct exercise to demonstrate concepts; introduce the challenge for the workshop.
In-depth session on Empathy phase; participants conduct Empathy activities for challenge outside of classroom; share and synthesize insights; create and share Empathy Map.
Reflect on what we have learned in the day’s session; discuss plans for next day.
In-depth session on Define phase; frame problem; develop POV and problem-statements; share findings.
In-depth session on Ideation phase; brainstorming session related to our mission; synthesis of generated ideas.
In-depth sessions on Prototype and Test phases; review prototypes with potential end-users for feedback; revise and iterate as needed.
Share potential solutions and discuss findings; review and practice presentation and storytelling skills; create and deliver presentations.
Reflect on what we have learned in the workshop: discuss plans for using Design Thinking in your organization and in your jobs; identify potential use-cases.
There are two types of workshops: In-person workshops of one to three days in duration, with 30-36 participants (recommended) per workshop; or virtual workshops of three to five days in duration (more days, but less time each day due to challenges of the virtual environment), with 20-30 participants (recommended).
Each workshop is guided by experienced leaders from the Barkley Consulting Group and includes:
- A customized program and agenda specific to the needs of your organization and the desired outcomes of the workshop.
- Pre-workshop assignments (optional) that get participants engaged in the topic area before the workshop begins. This includes potential exercises and research.
- The facilitation, execution, and delivery of the workshop.
- A post-workshop review of up to 3 hours with participants and management to discuss ways to implement learnings in their work.
What Makes Us Different?
We come from the corporate world. We know how to deliver education and experiences that resonate with working people across all industries, sectors, and roles. Most importantly, we make sure our workshops are fun, enlightening, and inspirational.
Design Thinking is learned by “doing” combined with relatable instruction and guidance. We connect with our audience by giving insightful instruction immediately followed by interactive activities that allow participants to practice what they have learned on the workshop challenge. People can learn Design Thinking in minutes. It is how it is applied that can be the difference between success and failure.
Our Design Thinking workshops are designed for businesses and individuals who want to become more human-centered in their approach and innovative in their thinking. It is highly applicable for business professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, and leaders from the public and private sectors. Design Thinking is useful across industries and professions and is highly relevant for people in technology, human resources, sales and marketing, design, planning, and management roles.