Design Thinking as a Disruptive Force for HR

Are you in a situation where the employees in your company are being affected adversely and therefore there is a need to spread awareness of their needs and frustrations? You wish to convince them to stick around for the long run but don’t know how to resolve the conflict? A surface level understanding of the challenge does exist but there are differing views among the population. To make the situation even more complex, there are considerable number of variables associated with the problem, so it’s hard to find where to start.




Incorporating design thinking in such situations can make you a winner. If you look at the work space as an experience and wish to empower creativity, innovation and collaboration, design thinking is the way to go! Talk about instilling consumer mindset to HR solutions and taking the role of HR from a mundane “process developer” to an enthusiastic “experience architect”. This will empower employees in every aspect of their work life, for instance, the way they meet and interact, how managers spend their time; and how organizations select, train, engage and evaluate their employees.

So, how is design thinking an incredible solution for HR problems?

Design Thinking’s scope goes well beyond designing new products, services or business models. Design isn’t about just handing over a box to someone and telling them to make it look good. It’s about how it works. A designer’s sensibility and methods are leveraged to find the best technological fit for people’s needs or to drive customer value and market opportunity through a viable business strategy. Think of design thinking like jazz. The structure is built from a simple melody from which you can improvise, but like any art, you need to master the basics first. This is the reason why you need to introduce very clear guard rails that will help your employees mold their habits accordingly. Once everyone is on the same page, they can then start playing jazz as opposed to playing scales previously.




Who Started This?

Cisco was the first organization that launched non-tech HR hackathon in 2016. They integrated design thinking to break HR and then re-imagine HR solutions for 71,000 global Cisco employees. The “Breakathon” birthed around 105 new HR solutions that covered talent acquisition, new hire on-boarding, learning and development, leadership and team development.




Your stepping stone towards a successful cultural transformation

A design mindset is not problem-focused, it’s solution-focused and action-oriented. It involves both analysis and imagination.

Design thinking is looking at how you can improve the future building it on new ideas- unlike critical thinking. Critical thinking is based on problem solving whereas design thinking is all about bringing something into being. It brings in human centered innovation and begins with developing an understanding towards unmet needs. The purpose revolves around improving the quality of life for the people and planet. So, when are you making the life of your employees better?

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