As a kickoff to our consulting projects, our class got to participate in a design thinking workshop led by Drew Marshall of Primed Associates.
Design thinking, specifically the IDEO simulation we experimented with, is a tool kit used by companies such as Microsoft, GE, Bayer, Nokia, and GlaxoSmithKline to name a few. Business schools that provide design thinking preparation to MBA candidates include Northwestern, Michigan, Duke, UNC, Cornell, HEC, Cambridge and Columbia.
Our class worked on a case involving the improvement of recycling and sustainability practices for a town in California. Using the IDEO process, we worked in groups to observe, brainstorm, find insights, and find innovative solutions to the case’s main problems.
I was really impressed with the simulation software. Each team submitted work for various “rounds” of the competition. We then ranked and rated other team’s ideas and received points not only for the strength of our ideas, but for the ability to recognize the strengths in other’s ideas.
By far, my favorite part was the brainstorming session. Here, we were challenged to come up with as many ideas as we could in about 10 minutes. Our team set a goal to have 30 ideas in 10 minutes. In order to achieve this goal, we wrote down whatever came to mind. There was no time to hold back or discuss the ideas being thrown down on post-its. This tool was very effective in taking down the barrier that often makes you hold back an idea. As we continue our many assignments and now consulting projects, my group has agreed to make sure we foster an environment in which everyone’s ideas can be heard and no one feels like they should hold back.