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  • Julia Goga-Cooke

Why HR needs Design Thinking

Two-thirds of companies now believe complexity is an obstacle to business success and a barrier to growth in business productivity. The strive for simplicity has become a mantra for many companies.

It is no surprise that 79 percent of executives in the Global Human Capital Trends survey rated design thinking an important or very important issue. It gives the HR executives a mindset, process and a lot of tools to address complex problems in their daily work.

There are 3 key areas where Design Thinking can help HR:

1. Putting people at the centre of the organisation. This requires a lot more understanding of their needs, pains and aspirations. Annual surveys, focus groups and questionnaires, for all the data they give, are not enough. Design Thinking tools like interviewing for empathy, persona profiles, employee customer journeys, would make that empathetic understanding a lot deeper.

2. Designing a networked organisation in order to create an environment and culture where employees collaborate across structures and disciplines, thus fuelling diverse combinations for innovation and growth. Having a common process for innovation like the Design Thinking process, will make cross departmental collaboration easier to work.

3. Design a learning organisation fit for the digital era. Training as we know it is a fixture of the 20th century. Designing experimenting and testing agile ways which combine face-to-face with virtual, JITTs MOOCs, SPOCs, Meetups and Mobile games, will move the thinking from Training to Learning, where the company and the employee have joint ownership and responsibility for development.

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