In today's increasingly market-driven workplace, companies are always on the lookout for new ways to engage their internal teams. Organizations across industries are developing tools and services that delight users, and collaborating and working smarter with colleagues around the globe. The companies that are tackling these tasks most successfully are those taking a people-focused approach to practical and creative problem solving. At IBM, that approach is called IBM Design Thinking.
Many large companies, IBM included, are challenged to practice people-focused problem solving because, while it works great for small, co-located teams, it’s difficult to scale this methodology. Only lately has the possibility for globally dispersed teams to practice human-centered product development become a reality. The members of IBM Design’s Education + Activation (E + A) team are the major proponents of this process. Over the past three years, they have developed unique programs that bring IBM Design Thinking to IBMers around the world.
Part of what makes the IBM Design Education + Activation (E + A) team’s work unique is the breadth of their programming. Designcamps—for product teams, product managers, and executives—are a cornerstone of the E + A’s programming. These immersive learning experiences make IBM Design Thinking accessible not only to designers, but also to people who haven’t previously considered design as part of their workflow or function.
“We're practicing design thinking at a global scale and at a level of complexity that's never been seen before,” said Doug Powell, Education + Activation Program Director “With product teams dispersed around the world, collaboration and alignment among key stakeholders can be extremely difficult.”
In 2014, the IBM Design’s Education + Activation (E + A) team engaged more than 5,000 IBMers. Participant feedback has been overwhelmingly positive:
“I’ve never had an experience at IBM like this before—and I’ve been here a long time. I’m more excited to get back to work next week than I have been since I started working with IBM [more than 20 years ago].” — Executive Architect, Mobile Innovation
On June 3, 2014, the IBM Design Education + Activation team received industry recognition when it was honored with a Professional Notable achievement award by Core77, an online community dedicated to the practice and produce of great industrial design. All honorees recognized by Core77 have the opportunity to participate in the Community Choice Awards—described by the site as the “Winner among Winners;” voting is now open.
You can learn more about IBM Design Thinking in the following ways:
- If you're an IBMer, participate in the Designline webcast. An interactive series, Designline offers an hour-long deep-dive into the practices and principles of IBM Design Thinking. On the show, practitioners and subject matter experts come together to present case studies, share best practices, and answer questions. Note that this is only for internal IBM employees.
- “It’s like listening to NPR. You mix a perfect blend of practical knowledge, actual case studies with IBM guests, and examples of how we can improve our own team’s work. More, please.” — IBM UX Designer
- Explore the IBM Design Thinking website. (http://ift.tt/1rx35lZ)
- Watch this video from the IBM Think Academy.
- Attend a design conference. When you vote (including for the IBM Design Education + Activation team!) in the Core 77 Citizen’s Choice awards, you’re automatically entered to win free tickets to 2015 Core 77 Design conference.
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