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What is design thinking?

 

Watch this video with Jen Kohan, Head of the Coaching Academy, explaining more about design thinking. 

Find out more about design thinking >

We have two offers focused on design thinking. On this page is a description of both.

  • Introduction to design thinking: A one-day introductory course
  • Design thinking series: A six-month long series of workshops where you apply design thinking to a real-world problem, and develop a user-centred prototype to apply to the problem

 

Introduction to design thinking

Overview

This interactive workshop is for individuals who want to learn about user-centred design and how it can be applied to complex challenges. We will explore the following questions:

  • What is design thinking and how does it connect to health and care system leadership?
  • What does design thinking look, sound and feel like in practice?
  • How might design thinking help me and others to tackle wicked problems?
  • How can I model design thinking practices and help to create a culture of innovative collaboration?

Learning outcomes

In this session, participants will:

  • define design thinking and its application in solution development,
  • identify the steps taken in design thinking methodology,
  • explore approaches and methods that can be applied at each step,
  • review how you might introduce design thinking tools and techniques in your place of work,
  • reflect on the potential benefits of design thinking in health and care systems.

Audience

This workshop is for a group of up to 20 health and care leaders with a shared challenge to explore.

Details

This full day workshop is delivered in a face-to-face environment. You will learn about the design thinking process in the morning and apply it to a shared challenge in the afternoon.

Instructors

You will be guided through the design thinking process by a qualified coach and expert facilitator.

How to join

Contact coach@innovationagencynwc.nhs.uk to express interest.


Design thinking series

Overview

In this series, coaches support a group of leaders to collaborate and apply design thinking methodology to a real-world challenge. Throughout the process, leaders will gain experience and coaching in applying design thinking methodology within a learning community, and become confident in facilitating the methodology within the health and care system.  

Learning outcomes

  • The cohort will collaboratively define a specific problem, design and develop a prototype for testing, and experience the design thinking approach and its concepts through application to a real world problem.
  • Gain a deep understanding of the process of design thinking and its application in wider NHS systems.
  • Lead the design-thinking process with a real world challenge in your own place of work.
  • Gain confidence and skills in applying design thinking within a variety of areas within the NHS.

Audience

This workshop is for a group of up to 20 health and care leaders with a shared challenge to explore.

Details

This series should ideally take place over six months with a maximum of 12 people, with three 2.5-hour virtual workshops and two 1.5-hour coaching sessions.

The workshops can take place in-person or through a digital workspace. We can discuss options that best suit the group. 

Instructors

A qualified coach and expert facilitator will guide you through the design-thinking process.

How to join

Contact coach@innovationagencynwc.nhs.uk to express interest.

Case studies

Read about the creation of the clinical and care leadership framework for Cheshire and Merseyside ICS in Spring 2022 on our Case studies: Systems support page. 
 

Back to Systems support

 

 What is design thinking?

 

Design thinking is a user-centred, problem-solving process applicable to any role or industry. It works well across organisational boundaries when there is clarity, focus and motivation to tackle a specific complex challenge or change.

 

Design thinking can help your team or organisation:

  • understand the needs of the people you’re creating something for,
  • gain clarity and conviction despite incomplete information,
  • reduce the risk of adoption failure when launching a new change, process, service model or product,
  • discover and choose solutions that have impact, in the multitude of possibilities,
  • learn and iterate faster,
  • collaborate better and tap into the creative potential of individuals and teams.
 

Design thinking principles:

  • Start with empathy
  • Begin with chaos and move towards clarity
  • Reframe the perceived problem or challenge around the user’s needs
  • Employ different ways of thinking to come up with various solutions
  • Explore and ‘learn while doing’ to gain viability insight
  • Test prototypes that survive
  • Iterate through the process with empathy and refined clarity
 

Adapted from:

IDEO U – What is design thinking? and Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (Stanford d.school) - Designing for social systems

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