Putting the Pieces Together: Design Thinking + PNC


Our project’s course kicked off with a design thinking simulation from IDEO and Experience Point.  Our facilitator, Drew Marshall, discussed the “sweet spot” between desirability, feasibility, and viability and outlined a systematic process for observation, ideation, testing and implementation. A highlight of the design thinking workshop was the lightening round of brainstorming. This process will be useful as we begin our consulting project with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

IMG_7165The following day, PNC’s chief marketing officer Karen Larrimer spoke to our cohort about the disciplined methodology for breakthrough innovation used at PNC. Using Target as an example, she shed light on how companies collect information and use specific data algorithms to tailor marketing to individual customer needs and wants.

One classmate, Laura, recognized the design thinking in PNC’s creation of the virtual wallet application.  Karen explained that the application responds to customer shifts from brick and mortar to ATMs and on-line bill paying while providing a competitive advantage for PNC. Laura described the creation of the virtual wallet as a “win-win” because customers have more flexibility, and the bank is able to reach more customers.

It is no accident that the program hosted Karen Larrimer after our design thinking simulation with Drew Marshall. While Drew showed us the theory and application of design thinking, Karen was able to show us design thinking in practice at PNC. It’s a relief to see that we learn in the classroom is directly applicable to a business environment.


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