These compelling fiscal reasons have elevated design thinking to the top of executive priorities and to the wings of many organizations; however, human-centricity and agility have not traditionally been innate qualities of most organizations. In recent years, we’ve seen strategic investments made by blue chip organizations (headcount, workspaces, training, events, software, acquisitions) to engage customers and peers with more empathy, curiosity, desire to meet needs, speed to concept and courage to adapt; however, results have been mixed.
In this insightful and engaging presentation, Adam Billing and Dan Parkinson will introduce you to the strategies used by Treehouse Innovation’s clients and others to successfully generate ROI from investments in becoming a Design-led organization.
Adam Billing is the founder of Treehouse Innovation. He has spent most of his career working with companies to design new products, services, and strategies; and to develop their own internal innovation capability. Formerly with Ernst & Young Consulting, Adam has led numerous innovation projects and design events for all types of organizations. Recent clients include Amazon, NBCUniversal, eBay, Sony PlayStation, DuPont, Microsoft, and many others.
He is a frequent lecturer on Cambridge University’s executive education and leadership development programs. He has additionally designed and delivered learning and leadership programs with top business schools including Imperial College London, The Judge Business School in Cambridge, Rice University, Georgia Tech, and others.
Dan Parkinson is a relationship lead and consultant at Treehouse Innovation, specializing in capability development. For the last 10 years, he has worked with global organizations and premier business schools to build and sustain human-centered innovation and change capabilities.
Established in 2010, Treehouse Innovation is a band of entrepreneurs, designers, educationists, and technologists. We partner with our clients to produce creative solutions and learning outcomes that have a resounding impact on organizational culture. In addition to consulting services, Treehouse offers an end-end stack to help teams independently apply human-centered design practices.
This is for building a more innovative change ready team, hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Dan Parkinson and Adam Billing. My name is Sarah and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions or comments, please type them into the chat pod on the lower right hand corner of the event screen. And we’ll answer as many questions as we can during today’s session. Today’s webinar is sponsored by Treehouse Innovation established in 2010. Treehouse innovation is a band of entrepreneurs, designers, educationists and technologists. They partner with their clients to produce creative solutions and learning outcomes that have a resounding impact on organizational culture. In addition to consulting services, Treehouse offers an end to end stack to help teams independently apply human centered design practices. Learn more at treehouse innovation.com. I’m excited to introduce our presenters today, Dan Parkinson and Adam Billing. Dan is a relationship leading consultant at Treehouse innovation specializing in capability development. For the last 10 years he has worked with global organizations and premier business schools to build and sustain human centered innovation and change capabilities. Adam is the founder of Treehouse innovation. He has spent most of his career working with companies to design new products, services and strategies and to develop their own internal innovation capability. Formerly with Ernst and Young consulting, Adam has led numerous innovation products, projects and design events for all types of organizations. Recent clients include Amazon, NBC, Universal, eBay, Sony, PlayStation, DuPont, Microsoft, and many others. Thank you both for joining us today.
It’s great to be here. Thanks so much, Sarah. Thank you, everybody. Hi, as Sarah generously mentioned, I’m Dan, this is Adam. We’re from Treehouse, we’re innovation experts. And today we’re going to share some insight with you from a 10 year research project studying design and innovation teams and the conclusions that the team, the research team mate, we also wanted to provide you with some practical ideas for folding these insights into your business and your practices. I’m going to be doing a lot of the talking on today’s call, but I have invited Adam to join us. It’s a great opportunity. Adam has a ton of experience, and he’ll be manning the chat today. So if you have any questions about human centered design, design thinking practices mindsets, feel free to hit him up in the chat and he’ll he’ll surface any questions that you have, and we’ll do our best to address them.
Absolutely. Looking forward to it.
Treehouse is trusted by world class organizations to help their teams achieve better results with innovation. At Treehouse, we have a long track record of expert Consulting and a happy trail our trail of happy clients. And this may be because how we’re not just the consulting shop. We know that the practices we use as innovation professional professionals are useful beyond design studios and innovation labs. As a team, we’ve committed to helping our clients affordably create cultures where these practices and mindsets can be adopted more widely long after our involvement. We do this by helping them become teachers, facilitators and storytellers within their organization. So what is the number one problem that these clients are facing? It’s probably fairly similar to what you are facing, and indeed what we’re facing. Keeping up. Until the 80s, the pace of technological change had been relatively predictable. Businesses could anticipate and exceed customer expectations and the headline making strategies for business growth, were really about optimizing operations to minimize costs. And then the internet arrived into our homes, smartphones into our hands, and now a blanket of connectivity through LTE networks, and AI is about to change our world again. these exponential technologies have driven customer expectations to unimaginable heights. It’s a fantastic time to be a customer. Everything’s faster and easier and the possibilities are endless. But our clients are finding it tough to keep pace with those user needs. Pass playbooks no longer offer us reliable strategies for going forward. This exponential growth is getting faster, and from what we’ve observed and felt it’s a driving force for change with a couple of major implications for people people like you. Decision making is happening closer to the frontlines by people with less experience the pace of change requires greater cross departmental collaboration. And it’s required to get to market faster than competitors. How resonant are these implications for you in your business today? Put in the poll.
Now launch – there’s two poll questions there, you can take a few moments and submit your answer and we’ll get the results up on the screen to discuss. And we’ll give you 15 more seconds here. If you haven’t answered, please do so. On a scale of one to 1010 being the most highly relevant that is.
Thanks so much. That’s great. Are we ready to move on?
Yeah, sounds good. Those results now on the screen. Can you see those?
Yes, I can. Awesome. Thank you. Thanks, everybody, for your for contributing. So to close the gap, you need talent across the spectrum that intuitively know how to empathize with end users in order to surface your needs. And those people need to know how to take those needs and develop creative solutions on diverse teams. And finally, to know how to rapidly prototype those solutions into reality before conditions change. Imagine a competing organization figured out how to hire software engineers faster than you are how to reduce absenteeism, or how to optimize for team composition for better project outcomes regardless of their location in the world. This is an ever present and possible threat that you may be living through right now. questions would be asked extrinsic pinch pressure increases, and where there is pressure, there’s change. And this is what it feels like to be on the backfoot trailing the curve. However, imagine you figured out how to hire software engineers faster. Imagine you figured out how to reduce absenteeism. Imagine you figured out how to optimize team composition for better project outcomes, regardless of location. This is also an ever present and possible opportunity that you may also be living through right now, curiosity, but what you’re doing is growing around you. The pressure is intrinsic and generative. And this is what it feels like to be on the front foot closer to the curve. And this is what we help our clients do stay as close to or exceed the curve through the application of design thinking. Now over the past several years design thinking has become one of the most talked about topics in business and for good reason. The Design Management Institute had a look at the performance of design driven organizations over the course of 10 years. And they found that these organizations outperform the s&p index by over 228%. Multiple other stories or studies are showing us again and again. And again, that design thinking capabilities impact growth, performance, efficiency and culture. Once considered the domain of fast moving innovative companies such as Apple or Google p&g, and many others design thinking is now being applied more broadly around the world. On a scale of one to 10 How familiar are you with design thinking? Were 10 is very familiar. Can we go to the poll Sarah?
And again, you could submit your answer and then we’ll share those results on the screen. And we’ll give you a 15 more seconds here or so. So you can submit your answer if you have yet to do so. Okay, great. We’ll get those results up on the screen. Okay here we are. You see those, Dan?
Yes, thank you. Great. That’s that’s perfect. So thank you very much everybody that’s helpful. So for if you write yourself a 10 I find out the chat and let us know how you would describe design thinking to a colleague. The tough question, but we’d love a few a few contributors. Even if you didn’t score yourself at 10
Even just a few lines and even if you’re not sure a guess is completely welcome. What are some things that you’ve heard? What are some things that you suspect
design thinking is all about it’s got a few folks who don’t have sound so
Yep, there we go. We’re getting that sorted out. Thanks a whole lot Sarah. See know how person Yeah, a lot of it is design thinking even though it is thinking in the title is a whole lot about doing and having a method for achieving it’s all about mindsets. That is absolutely right. Dr. Cardenas thank you for joining us creative problem solving 100% 100% multiple ideas and potential it’s a great one. Wendy coming up with multiple ideas and potential solutions to get a desired result right not just picking the one idea and running with it. Building your services based on what customers want guys you hit an all of the of the the big points Juliet’s absolutely right on answer instead of what they think they want, what we want them to want, understanding what our customers deeply care about need. It’s a very personal approach very human centered. Okay, wonderful. Thank you so much for this guys. This is great.
Thanks so much for the contribution and it is a tough thing to do and those are excellent responses and for anyone who’s feeling a bit lighter on their understanding of design thinking here’s here’s an attempt at a single slide overview of the fundamentals that would be good to know for the remainder of our presentation today. So in the chat what what do you notice in this photo just observe this picture what’s what’s happening here? What do you notice
someone is typing not in the photo but in the chat. Yeah, now that windy right there. Storm clouds perfect. New Path, you got it. It’s a street corner. Maybe it’s a street. street sign. Nice one. Now if you were in charge of keeping the neighborhood free of litter and dog waste, where do you wish they would have installed the garbage bin? Fundamentally, design thinking is about minimizing risks in launching new things. It’s expensive to create a new experience, product or service. And any new innovation needs to achieve a balance of what is not only feasible and viable, but also desirable and sustainable. In this photo, by not designing to the desired path that we see there that cuts the corner. The desired path of the end users of pedestrian with garbage a sub optimal, and if you’ll forgive the pun wasteful solution was carried out the risk with any new initiative service solution experience or indeed installation is that it’s often much harder to spot the desire paths, because what people say is often very different from what they do think or feel. Design Thinking starts with testing for desirability and incorporates methods to uncover these desire paths, thereby lowering the risk of any future feasible or viable solution that is ultimately invested in. Authors Jean Lika, Karen Hold and Jessica L. Rich spent 10 years researching what makes the most successful design teams so successful. They study 1000s of people from all sorts of backgrounds who are working on innovation projects. Their research now published in the book experiencing design pointed to some radical and helpful findings. If you’re trying to close the gap by investing in talent. One of those is that we become what we experience and this forms the arc of what Adam and I wanted to share with you today. By experiencing human centered design, we become more human centered. To demonstrate this, they broke the design thinking process into three distinct layers.
Sounds like we’ve got some… Sarah if you don’t mind checking in with the folks. Seems like there’s some sound issues. I don’t know if you can help them out.
Yes, I’m having some private conversations with them.
Alright, thanks very much. So, by being involved in Design Thinking activities, like gathering data, identifying insights, establishing design criteria, brainstorming or generating ideas, prototyping, or experimenting, testing those ideas for desirability people begin. People begin experiencing immersion, sensemaking, alignment, emergence, imagining, Learning in Action, and then transition from someone with an organization centric vision focused on driving their own ideas and priorities based on their own experiences and what they perceive to be best for the organization. To someone who understands that they’re someone who understands that their worldview contains blind spots, it’s a fact. And end users reward design centric organizations with their loyalty and resources. Another fact, this person becomes hungry to layer in the experiences of end users to minimize risks, and inform new opportunities that may have not may not have been previously apparent. They lean into the connection between diversity and the volume and velocity of ideas. Just a quick sidenote, a simple non threatening device that you can use in your next meeting that will help nudge your culture toward more human centricity. And the next time you hear somebody on your team start an idea with, we should simply ask them in the most polite Canadian polite, I’m from Toronto, curious way possible. What did you see that makes you say that, and probe for examples, they may not have won initially. But after being asked this question a few times, you’ll start to hear people say less of, we should. And more of the last time we did this, I noticed that the employees or the customers did this thing. And I wonder if we might. All right, back with our transformation path. By experiencing rapid prototyping, this person becomes someone who used to lead with telling to someone who leads with showing another side note about the integration of these mindsets into everyday use. If you’re involved in a change initiative, for example, and seeking alignment or buy in from some bystanders, consider taking 10 minutes before your next meeting to develop something tactile, like a storyboard a wireframe or even a roleplay. I was in a meeting just yesterday that made use of a roleplay. And its surface to volume of assumptions that we had had, and helped us align as a team more quickly than had we tried to talk things out particularly virtually. I don’t know why but attention will always be drawn to the prototype in the room, and that people are more likely and people are more likely to resonate with your idea, because they understand it more clearly. This gets us to the right questions more quickly and gives them an opportunity to build on your idea from bystander to potential champion. If a picture is worth 1000 words, a prototype is really worth 1000 pictures. And finally, on our transformation path, transformation journey here where we’re becoming this individual moves from someone who needs closure and certainty to someone who rigorously keeps early prototypes. Cheap and has the bravery to adapt if presented with with evidence that the solution they’ve prototype is undesirable by the end user. It’s really a pay me now or pay me later situation you may be tempted to press on with a certain solution for the sake of pressing on. But it can be painful to be a part of launching something that fails to meet its potential simply because users won’t use it. In Jeanne and Karen and Jessica’s research experienced participants even lightly experienced participants were consistently scoring higher on the mindsets here in red that you can see and had a cascade that had a cascading impact on the cultures where they existed. For people seeking to close the gap by investing in their people, this is great news, because it gives us something concrete to consider and that is how might we create the conditions for people to experience these methods. We’re gonna do another quick poll and I’d like you to take a moment here to reflect upon what mine said Do you think you need to develop most?
Take a few moments here to submit your answer and cast your vote we have responses streaming in we’ll give you about 15 More seconds and then we’ll share those results okay, great. Let me get those results up on the screen. There we are, everyone should be able to see the results now. You see them on your side Dan.
Kind of how many people have voted to be honest.
So we have 13% said empathetic and self aware. 8% said inquiring and perspective. 0% said open, open minded. And 8% said collaborative and inclusive, another 8% creative and compelling and 8% rigorous and adaptive.
Really interesting how spread across the spectrum is or with a slight edge being given to the empathetic and self aware piece. That’s, that’s really, really interesting. It’d be great, be great to kind of understand if you’ve got any sort of if you’ve got a strong feeling towards your your selection there. If you could pop that into the chat. We’d love to hear it. You know, so if you really felt that, that collaborative and inclusive mindset and the way Dan’s described it, that’s what’s really missing the most or the empathetic and self aware. Be great to learn a little bit more anything you can share be really valuable.
Yeah, my name. Yeah, the pace the pace is certainly tough like taking that time to understand the experience of the people that you serve, and kind of designed toward those desire paths that they exhibit. Definitely a challenge in a pasty environment. Thanks so much, everybody, for participating. So here’s a here’s a short transformational example from our experience. Last year, we were hired to help a well established healthcare education business, reinvent the way people learn in their programs and increase their graduation rates. They had a great team of extremely talented software developers and data analysts specializing in research and experimenting with cool new technology technological solutions to help students learn their profession better. Their prototypes were amazing. And they they were especially strong, utilizing the Agile techniques to actively learn and iterate with prototypes. And when we first met them, they had been sharing a paper prototype of an Alexis study guide, which they thought had a lot of potential to help students. But after a few presentations of the prototype, something felt wrong. They kept hearing from from their students that it was neat, but not necessarily substantial enough to make a real impact in their lives. There were too many unknown unknown barriers, and it was becoming apparent that they were solving for the wrong problem. So kudos to them, they did the difficult work of stepping back from something that they felt excited about. And they hired us to help them better understand the lives and the needs of end users. Taking on an empathic and self aware mindset. We started with observing and interviewing students and faculty about their experiences learning remotely off campus. And as we empathize with those students, the team’s worldviews became less influential on the final outcomes, and the experience of the students rose in prominence as they move towards solution. This is one of the big aha was for the team as a result. No matter how novel or useful the study by was, if you’re standing on the roof of your car trying to get a data signal, or studying at 12 by 12am, while your family sleeps, it just won’t help you as empathy for their end user added contour and context and richness to the final outcomes. By stepping back and spending time with students where they lived, worked and socialized with the intention of understanding them, this team not only to unearth some new insights and opportunities that have helped them go beyond the study buddy, they were introduced to some new techniques that are proven to influence their mindsets on future projects and create value for the business. Developing your mindsets isn’t just important for innovation projects. It elevates your everyday activities by making innovation, your way of being. And this is a point I feel particularly passionate about because the application of design thinking outside of projects has had a more positive impact on my life and career than inside of projects. And there’s a real case to be made for the integration of design thinking mindsets, or these mindsets that I’ve presented to you into life in general. And if you wanted to learn a bit more about this, like sort of the everyday application of design thinking I would recommend checking out a couple of books. There’s one called the achievement habit by one of the founders of Stanford’s D school, Bernard Roth, and the other is design your life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans based on a course that they also teach at Stanford. I have some more good news for those trying to close the gap by investing in their people’s innovation skills. In the book experiencing design, the team introduced an idea called an idea or a notion called Minimum Viable competencies. As a nod to the concept of minimum viable products, they created a way to measure how frequently you display some clear observable behaviors, and the minimum threshold you need to achieve or exhibit to achieve maximum innovation impact. The research the research shows that you don’t need to be an expert in Design Thinking in order to make an impact. In fact, the greatest impacts can be seen when you move your practices from novice to intermediate. They determine that we draw on different mindsets at different times. But by developing our behaviors to an intermediate level across the board, it helps us become better innovators all around and creates depth of skill, keeping you closer to that customer expectation curve.
So if customer expectations are exponentially changing and consistent, the consistent application of human centered design mindsets are critical to closing the gap between the way we’ve always done it and the way we need to do it. How do your populations presently score on the mindsets? For our clients, we’ve partnered with Jean Karen and Jessica to offer an assessment instrument that can be delivered as a self or peer assessment, measuring your existing mindsets. This can be useful for adding a layer of intelligence to any design thinking experience that you’ve invested in. Participants know what they’re working on work, what they’re working toward, and take the opportunity to round out, round out their their known gaps. And in addition, by creating a baseline, you can measure movement over time, individuals can track how their experiences curated or not are influencing their daily behaviors. And in addition to making learning experiences more impactful and measurable, the assessment is also being used to gain broader understanding of current mindsets, in teams and businesses. If you’re curious to understand more about how you score as an individual, you know, we’ve taken the poll we’ve got we’ve got a sense of, of where you’re at and where you need to improve. You may be surprised by the results, but we’ll be providing a code at the end of the webinar to help you take the assessment at a reduced cost. With the assessment we can get a picture of what’s happening on a team or in an organization. But what about the other question? How might you create the conditions for your people to achieve an intermediate level of experience that they need to make a move on their scores. So you have insight you need experience. You need cycles of intentional practice to achieve any of the upside of closing the growing gap between end user expectations and business as usual. Understanding your mindset and engaging in supportive practice will keep you as close to the curb as possible. Today, we’ve taken a look at what 10 years of studying the top innovators and teams in the world has told us about the mindsets that they carry, and some pathways to explore for integrating those mindsets into your own life. But what happens next? Here’s what we’ve seen work with our clients by getting people involved in experiential learning that introduces graduating levels of risks of taking people from the safety of simulated learning perhaps to the troughs in peaks of applying design thinking to real business challenges, offering adaptive levels of support like toolkits or guidance and coaching, there’s a lot of content online and a lot of great providers. And finally Managing Senior Business leaders with quantitative metrics to measure the return on investment from implementing these practices into the organization. And with that, thought we’d leave a lot of open time to take take your questions about these mindsets, design practices, and any other questions that you may have today. Feet, please feel free to use the HR DQ you code to take the assessment at a reduced cost. Thank you to the HR dq, you community for having us today. And if you’d like to have a conversation with Adam or I following this conversation, we’re more than happy to connect with you offline.
stuff. Okay, any questions, any questions at all about everything, Dan is just just covered. Oh, the name of the two books, Dan, if you could pop those in the chat, that’d be amazing.
So just type your questions in the chat area. See someone typing.
And just just one thing to add from from personal experience. That was Dan was telling the story of the team we were working with in the healthcare education business. And, you know, talking about how the team started with that sort of execution focused mindset, like you know, we’ve we’ve got an idea, we’re going to make it happen. And that’s and that’s how good is measured right by by making it happen. But his dad explained if they had, they would have built the wrong thing, they may have built it absolutely beautifully. And they may have used cutting edge agile practices to build it efficiently. But at the end of the day, it wouldn’t have met that that client need. And I think, in our work, that mindset shift, we think about closing the gap, that mindset shift from what we believe and the Wendy, you did a great job of pulling these out in the comments earlier, as did others, making that shift from what we believe is right and what we’re good at and what we’re comfortable with what the past might have told us to shifting to that that deeply empathetic, where we kind of have to put a lot of our expertise and past successes off to the side, it represents one of the most important one of the most difficult shifts that we see within organizations. And as Dan mentioned, the only way to reinforce those those changes is indeed with with with practice with application. It’s one thing to tell people, if you set aside your assumptions, and, you know, preconceptions of what the solution is and listen to your user, you’ll end up with a better outcome in the end. But it’s a whole other thing for someone to have tried that to have kind of taken that chance of letting go of the area where they’re confident and actually experience that better solution emerge. And it’s just by giving people opportunities to do that in a safe way over time, that these mindsets do take root. And that curve, you know, that gap between the curves does does tend to close but it is it is not without practice, not without repetition and not without support. So get a few Oh yeah. Great. Thanks, Dan, for experiencing design, wonderful, wonderful book just came out in almost one year ago. So still very new and lots of incredible research within and some beautiful storytelling too. Good question is to use the assessment prior to the kickoff of initiative initiative. So Dan, do you want to do you want to take a stab at that? Got some thoughts? Yeah,
Absolutely. That’s a great question. Thanks, Judy. I don’t know in the realm of best I might. It’s there’s definitely it’s a measurement tool. So you’re measuring kind of where you’re baselining. Frankly, you’re baselining where are we today? introduce an initiative introduce an intervention introduced experience. pulsing, pulsing that population following the kind of the first baseline will give you an indication of how that that individual or how that team have moved on the mindsets. Um, so I would I would agree certainly it’s a it’s a staging for, for for an intervention.
And that’s, so just to build on that, and then I’m going to circle back to a question that Judy had. See, yeah, we’re seeing some really interesting applications of the assessment, to Xena before it before a training after so few people can measure that confidence uptick. We’re seeing it used with with recruitment. Interestingly, we’re seeing used with trying to get a kind of an organizational snapshot. And frankly, it is it’s it is very new. So we’re seeing new applications all the time, which is really exciting to be a part of a research that is, you know, at this stage in 10 years of research, but, you know, only months of application out in the world. So, of course, we’d love to get your feedback, if you do take the assessment, you know, do let us know, do let us know how you’re finding its usefulness in your world. Well, Judy asked the question, what is the best approach to rolling this concept across a large public agency that has? Yeah, has always done it that way. 50 departments and 2000 employees? So that’s a great question. I mean, if there’s sort of a million dollar question, that might be it. I’ll give you a a give you a quick. And I could talk for the 20 minutes that we have left. And I won’t do that to you. But I want to say a couple of things. We’ve, we’ve worked with some very large organizations that have very I don’t want to say set in their ways is it’s a bad thing. It’s they do things a certain way, because they’re very successful. doing them that way. And those things have worked for a very long time. So we understand hesitancy to change. One of those large clients is in the in the legal sector. And I don’t know what, what what industry you’re coming from, Judy, but but the legal sector lives up to its reputation for being highly risk averse. They’re very much dependent on the expertise of their of their people. And it’s about having the right answer. So a lot of the things that Dan’s been talking about, in terms of inviting in some of that curiosity inviting in, let’s let’s deeply understand what our user wants, as opposed to leading with the solution. These things were very, very counter to,
to the culture, they’re very delivery expert, expertise driven culture that existed there. And in terms of the best approach to overcoming that, I will just say that there are three components that we always look to make sure moving in harmony, to get a transformation like this across the line. First and foremost, is making sure we have engaged leaders. And in the case of this law firm, we had CEOs sponsorship, and top team sponsorship, their job not necessarily doing all of these things, as part of you know, you know, they’re not the frontline innovators necessarily, but they knew how to recognize these new behaviors, these things that might be, you know, very uncomfortable for people, and they need to visibly show that these are a value, these are important and need to model those as much as they can. So engaged leadership is a big piece of it, making sure you’ve got broad awareness throughout the organization. So when people start trying these different ways of working, these new mindsets start seeping in. They don’t act as sort of the white blood cells that will attack the thing that is different. And you know, developing some capability within the firms will get some champions from ambassadors to go out. Very important. And the last piece is just to start capturing some evidence of a real impact to real work, real stories that come from your organization. With the with the law firm. It wasn’t until we were able to start showing them how these mindsets, when embodied by their lawyers, led to better outcomes than they were getting before. Were we really able to start getting that traction. Once we started to be able to point to internal successes, even if they weren’t, you know, breakthrough blockbuster new solutions, even if they were just small improvements in the way things were done, client matters were handled or the service done. Every was was, was managed those little successes legitimized these new mindsets. And then the rest of the organization was able to break free a bit of that, from a bit of that. It’s always been done this way to say, well, actually, look, it’s being done this way now. And it’s working. And we’re measuring that impact. And we’re feeling the the improvement. So, Judy, I’m sorry if that was a terribly long answer. But that’s, you know, you ask a big question. Hopefully, it was useful.
I think the other like, just thing to add there, Judy, is, you know, when when I when I hear something like that a large, large public agency, with a lot of different employees, I think about the leaders in that in that group. What are they? What are they seeking to do? Like, what are threats and opportunities for them, as they lead that organization? And developing a point of view on like, how suitable is designed for or design thinking for those challenges? Like, what are we trying to do? What kind of threats are we seeking to avoid or opportunities we’re pursuing, that can really drive the success of rolling out a design thinking initiative. In the larger organization, like you’re always bringing it back to this is the way in which putting citizens at the center of our work and our problem solving is helping us achieve that big opportunity that’s in front of us, or that threat that we’re facing. So that I would say that’s, that’s critical for leadership alignment. And then at that point, it’s kind of like, once we’ve established a point of view on how design thinking addresses those threats or opportunities, it then becomes a question of, you know, what are we going to do about that? And, I mean, you know, there are some organizations out there that have hired. Yeah, I think about IBM, for example, I don’t know how many designers they have now, is that something like, only want to guess, I think, three or 30,000, it’s a lot. So they’ve gone out and they said, Hey, we’ve got an issue, we want to address it. It’s something that design thinking is relevant for like putting humans at the center of the work that we do. Obviously, they’re encountering the pace of change more than most. They’ve gone out and hired a bunch of people. That’s not a luxury that everyone necessarily has. And so then it comes down to what we’re sharing in the presentation around the investment in talent. In what way can we invest in people to help them re orient their starting points, bringing on those mindsets in just being aware of, of how they presently show up, and how they could show up to put citizens at the center of their problem solving efforts and develop some intuition and maturity around? When does design thinking, you know, when do we use design thing? When when don’t we use it?
So a great question there from Alex, sharing a story about how design thinking is improved working culture of an organization, I can share a quick story. There’s a large media organization that we’ve worked with for many years. And they are like many in that sector. It’s a pretty high pressure business, it’s about timelines, it’s about, you know, it’s about getting the news out quickly, you know, before your competitors. And these tend to be very, very kind of intense environments. But they’re also very creative environments and energizing for the right kind of folks to work in. But one of the one of the issues were that, that sort of big personalities, were winning out. And not always the best decisions were being made, because they were being driven kind of this kind of hierarchy of, kind of what’s the word and were they the biggest extroverts were making the biggest bang and leading the direction a bit, a bit more, and it wasn’t always pleasant for everybody else. And when we introduced design thinking in that one of the practices is, is about inclusivity and it’s about bringing in lots of different voices, and very purposely stepping back from one’s own ideas and within there’s lots of methods that and frameworks that really just kind of kind of cement that in to a way of working so you know, there were certain things where if an eye if the solution needed to be found quickly for a problem, it was replacing the reflex with let’s go to the loudest person you know who we always go to and have them decide or that that senior person and then decide to let’s quickly convene a small group some folks from you know, from editorial some from advertising, some from you know, print media, some from radio and And, and sort of work it out that way. So this much more kind of collective mindset started to sink in. And again, it only really took root. After people were able to observe that the outcomes of that kind of collective process was better than it was by just letting the kind of loudest voices and biggest personalities take the take the take the decision. So again, kind of comes back to that point of capturing those stories, sharing them allows you to have the impact allows you to really see these things take root.
Yeah. So like some like hygiene on how brainstorms are run is another like major motion or major kind of skill that gets developed in the design thinking process. It’s, in many ways, the design thinking process is about risk mitigation, by ensuring we’re designing toward the desire paths, rather than, than the opposite. We can go to market with, with some assurances around the desirability of those ideas. But when it comes to brainstorming, and some of the behaviors that we use in a brainstorming on a design thinking project, they’re not drawn out and extensive brand new and multi day long kind of sessions, you know, there’s a brief, you know, something that I’ve experienced, that someone sends out a brief says, hey, you know, meeting at this time, for 20 minutes, I’ll like start the brainstorm with a five minute brief. They’re bringing that orientation toward diversity of thought as well. Here’s the thing that we’re up against, we’d love your voice. Everyone comes in, they stand up on post it notes, it’s energized, there’s a facilitator, everyone’s following a certain set of conditions and rules to be productive. It’s always oriented around speed, honoring diversity. And then speed also is highlighted as they take those ideas and turn them into reality, like, how do we like I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but how do we fail as quickly as possible by testing for that desirability, bringing concepts into life visually and physically, like making those concepts tactile for people to understand them? So what’s the summary there its speed is an influence on the culture, you’re not spending a lot of time brainstorming, making sure that we’re human centered primarily, like our brainstorms are informed by empathy. And then turning those ideas into life as quickly and cheaply as possible is, it’s just a massive advantage that you have over your over your competitors.
One very small, little artifact of cultural change in the way of working change that builds on what Dan was just talking about. This is what I can share the organization, it’s NBC Universal, so you know, you, the TV, guys, the movie guys. They, after bringing in design thinking, whenever they had a project brief, like, you know, here’s this project is what we run, this is how we’re going to build it, they started incorporating into every brief experiments. So in that last mindset, Dan was talking about the one about about being rigorous and adaptive. By designing experiments, you’re really leaning into that particular mindset. Now, what that means is, if that’s a you’ve got a concept, you know, you’re pretty confident it’s going to work, it’s come from, you know, great user insights, all of that stuff, as opposed to building it. You know, now that where we came from good, you know, good source, but as opposed to just building it, because we’re so confident, it’s great. Let’s start listing the assumptions we’re making about people’s ability to use this new idea we’ve come up with or their ability to their willingness or desire to engage with this thing that we’ve come up with. And let’s start running some really simple experiments like things that you can test in, in in minutes or hours before you start actually building and that idea of mandating people to have to test assumptions before they would get a sense of additional funding to continue on with the development of their project. This represent an entire mindset shift for them. And sometimes when those things come into policy, or you know that it sort of makes it official, and it makes that it makes that shift a bit more permanent. Good stuff, guys. Great questions. We really appreciate the engagement here, folks, anything anything else at all? We have a few minutes left, and we’re happy to happy to take any more questions or to give you a few minutes back to your day, whatever, whatever works for you guys.
Yeah, we did have a couple more questions in here. I don’t know, if you you had the chance to see. One here from Aniq, who said, do you have a method of ideas for inquiring minds?
Could you say a little bit more about that one?
Yeah, and while um, Aniq while you’re, you know, jotting, and just a little bit more information about that question, we had another question from Alex, how do we help prepare people who are set in their ways or don’t want to change?
So it’s a really good question. So, I mean, you can’t you can’t make people change. I think we all know that. I think the the first rule that we have, because we’ll come into organizations where sometimes, you know, we’ll be seen as bringing in a new, a new set of tools and a new set of norms, that might be a bit threatening to the way things are done business as usual. So we’ll we’ll end up working with some stakeholders that that, you know, aren’t that enthusiastic or don’t understand what’s what’s, what’s going to change, and therefore, kind of resisting it. I think the first rule that we take in is to never make a person wrong, right, we’re never there to make them. To say that their way is not as good as ours are to say that are, you know, we’re coming in with it with the new solution. It’s never that posture at all, it’s really kind of practicing a lot of what we preach in the methodology itself, it’s seeking to meet those folks where they are, to try to really understand sort of, you know, where they’re coming from what their world looks like. And in spending some special time not to necessarily kind of convinced them, but to kind of identify the best way through understanding where they’re at and what matters to them, for them to start to come in, and have some experiences with this way of working. And now, I can’t say it’s with 100% success. But I will say that we do find that if you’ve got a resistor, who is or is someone who doesn’t want to engage with with with some of these methods, then, by giving them some safe opportunities that you understand, you know, about their world are meaningful. They can sometimes Believe it or not become some of your loudest proponents. You know, they’re often very passionate about their role. And if they’re able to try things out, get some different kinds of outcomes, then you can end up with vocal supporters. But so I guess the answer, never make them wrong. Give them you know, understand where they’re coming from, and craft opportunities for them to try things out in a safe way to get some of their own successes.
And any collaborator here so the initial question was, Do you have a method of ideas in inquiring minds and further measuring creativity and an inquiring mind? inquiring mind?
Okay, um, so I don’t I think there’s probably a shameful gap in my knowledge. About About inquiring mind? If so, I’m very sorry, I’m not sure. Exactly. Sure, is that a if that is a methodology or platform?
Yeah, something great to maybe connecting afterwards and furthering that conversation and you can you can reach out to to Dan and Adam, you can see Dan at treehouse innovation.com and Adam at treehouse and innovation.com. And with that, we can end with one more question here from Alex and, and that is is directed towards you, Adam, what inspired you to create the treehouse innovation business?
Oh, it’s a great question. Well, I’ll tell you, it’s It might sound a little bit cheesy. But as I’ve been doing innovation work for for pretty much my whole career. And it was always sort of project so going in working with organizations over multiple months coming up with solutions, product services, whatever would be but we were always kind of coming in and being that kind of outside expert that came in and did that work, which was fun. rewarding and great. But one of the things that was consistently the most rewarding for me is when we would come in, there would always be those folks inside our client organization that, that was kind of excited about this and wanted to learn, and we would always invite, you know, the clients come in and collaborate as part of our project team. And, and the kind of reactions that we would hear from people who are kind of learning about this stuff with us, you know, it’s kind of not part of their day job, but we’re hearing things like, you know, I didn’t know this existed, like, this is kind of what I’ve been looking for my whole life, like this way of working. It’s like, you know, what one person described as, like, you know, like, I have, it sounds a bit extreme, but it’s like, I always felt like I was a lock in Design Thinking turns out to be the key, it’s just, I this is I didn’t know this existed as a methodology, I’ve always kind of thought there was a different way of doing these things. And, you know, you get those kinds of reactions. And it makes you feel amazing, because you You’re, you’re helping people to see things differently, to tap into a side of themselves in a way of working in a way of accomplishing things that are truly meaningful for them, be it at work or be it and other facet of life. And, and that just doesn’t get any better than that. So I think, in the course of those big projects, working with those individuals, helping them make those independent discoveries for them themselves and develop that capability, really became the spirit behind Treehouse, which is, you know, yes, we will go in and do projects with companies, we do love that we do it in a very collaborative way. But so much more of our focus is on helping people to build up that you’re going to unlock the potential that they have, and then start building up that confidence. And, and start, you know, doing these things without us. So we’re all about helping people to this themselves, become self sufficient, and in do amazing things that matter to them in their organization. So that’s, that’s, that’s pretty much what we’re all about.
Oh, great. I think that was a great way to wrap up. Today’s q&a was filled with a lot of great information and great questions. So thank you, everybody for for participating in that. And Dan, Adam, that’ll conclude the q&a portion of today as we near the end of our of our webinar.
Great, guys, thank you so much for having us.
Yeah, thank you, everybody for your participation. Great questions and engaging today.
Yeah. from you guys. Take care.
Bye. Yes, today’s webinar was sponsored by tree house innovation, partnering with their clients to produce creative solutions and learning outcomes that have resounding impact on organizational culture. Again, you can learn more at treehouse innovation.com. And you saw Dan and Adams email addresses as well so you can make sure you connect with them over there. And that is all the time that we have for today. That brings us to the end of our webinar. Thank you all for participating in today’s webinar. Happy training. Bye, everybody.