How people use our services
We work with all types and sizes of organizations around the world to help them meet their business goals with the application of design thinking principles. Our flexibility and personal approach allows us to create programs that address each client’s specific needs.
A short list of client stories is included below.
Venice Family Clinic
COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER NETWORK EMBRACES DESIGN THINKING
We have collaborated for several years with this remarkable network of eleven community healthcare clinics in Los Angeles that serves over 23,000 patients. We worked with them to apply the design thinking process to the creation of a new clinic that vastly improved care for children. Another project guided the executive team through the development of a five-year strategic plan that is uniquely human-centered. Most rewarding has been to see this group integrate design thinking into their daily work practice, transforming VFC into a creative organization dedicated to “providing enhanced quality primary healthcare to people in need.”
Global IT and business strategy consultancy
TECHNOLOGY STRATEGISTS LEARN CREATIVE COLLABORATION PROCESS
We were engaged to give this worldwide firm’s staff the skills to innovate in close collaboration with their clients. This program used a blended learning approach that touched over 1000 employees.
The year-long engagement comprised workshops and large-audience events in the US, Europe, and India, a series of webinars and videos, and ongoing support using their internal collaborative media platform that helped to transform the company culture.
INNOVATION AGENT CERTIFICATION FOR EXECUTIVES
We are now in our third year working with the executive education division of this technology- and innovation-focused university in Lima, Peru, and our classes have attracted a range of executives who come from Peru and other countries in South America.
Starting in 2017, we now provide an Innovation Agent certification program using a series of workshops (conducted in Spanish and English). Participants who successfully complete this program gain the proficiency to lead design thinking events in their own organizations.
PHARMACY GETS CLOSER TO DOCTORS, PATIENTS, & PET PARENTS
This long-term engagement with a compounding pharmacy resulted in what the CEO has called “a cultural transformation.” We trained management, pharmacists, and support staff to use insights about customer needs to identify opportunities for innovation, and to apply prototyping as a way to accelerate the journey from ideas to products. Three innovation teams explored new ways to connect with human patients, pet parents, doctors, and veterinarians, and ultimately made changes to its training and call-center processes.
Global professional services firm
CONSULTANTS APPLY DESIGN THINKING TO INTERNAL PROCESSES
We were first invited by this worldwide consultancy to teach design thinking to a team that harnesses in-house talent to “tackle some of the biggest challenge the world faces today.”
Following that successful engagement, we are now guiding an internal project to help them redesign a new process and work experience for various stakeholders and employees.
AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE TO FIND A NEW PATH TO INNOVATION
As one of the world's largest manufacturers of flash memory, SanDisk uses its extensive R&D abilities to push the boundaries of physics and offer ever-improving memory performance in ever-smaller packages. Realizing that understanding the needs of their customers — their partners, their end-users — was another path to innovation, they asked us to lead a three-day experience in human-centered design. We began with an "eye-opening" full-day course for over thirty learners; days two and three involved a team half that size in an exploration of wearable technologies.
ALSAC/St Jude Children's Research Hospital
FINDING INNOVATIVE WAYS TO SUPPORT A NONPROFIT HOSPITAL
The charitable organization ALSAC is the sole fundraiser that allow St Jude Children’s Research Hospital to treat life-threatening diseases in children for free, and to research new cures and therapies. A team of about twenty innovation mentors at ALSAC needed a more effective method to generate, develop, and manage ideas for the fundraising process. We ran two innovation workshops several weeks apart, each three days long, during which we guided them from observation and insights through to brainstorms and prototypes.
The team then applied design thinking to their own innovation management process, creating tools that could work well within ALSAC. The hands-on workshops generated three new approaches that were prototyped and are now being tested to determine the most effective and efficient one for immediate adoption by the organization.
APPLYING DESIGN THINKING TO NEXT-GENERATION SUPPORT SERVICES
Our work with Juniper focused on the Information Experience group, helping an extended project team of twenty-five people take a human-centered look at the customer experience so they could design their new product to better meet clients’ needs. In Juniper’s words, they needed a “change in thinking that would take them out of their rut.” The three-month engagement, which comprised four two-day workshops and a series of regular mentoring sessions, focused on learning how to apply design thinking to their immediate product development efforts.
The participants learned new tools and new methods for coming up with creative ideas as well as how to develop and manage these ideas. The brainstorming process and client empathy techniques were noted as particularly valuable for the team. The final deliverable was a new product concept, something that is “significantly different and better than what we had at the start.”
DOCTORS & NURSES APPLY DESIGN THINKING TO PRIMARY CARE EXPERIENCE
Kaiser Permanente’s new innovation studio in southern California invited us to help them learn and apply design thinking. The team, comprising primary-care and specialist physicians, nurses, and staff, focused on better defining the physician's role in order to maximize their effectiveness with patients.
We held six one-day workshops, each two weeks apart, to let the team experience and learn design thinking and apply a human-centered approach to identify and address challenges in the system. The learning resulted in many new ideas and a key prototype that is being tested with Kaiser Permanente management and stakeholders.
Digital Design Group (Mexico)
GAME AND WEB INNOVATORS GET INSPIRED BY DESIGN THINKING
A team of this firm's founders and staff traveled from Mexico City to Silicon Valley to experience and learn innovation through design thinking in a two-and-a-half-day, hands-on workshop. As a specialized software development company, they needed to expedite their prototyping process and learn an innovation practice that could be applied to their new product development. The team learned new skills and has integrated many aspects of design thinking into their current work processes. We are now planning more intensive, follow-on workshops for later this year to enhance these skills.
FOOD DESIGN GROUP FINDS INNOVATION IN CHINA & JAPAN
Collaborating with our partner Centauric, we conducted a six-week project with the Shanghai R&D lab of a global food manufacturer. Introductory workshops and review meetings were held using telepresence systems.
A three-day brainstorming and prototyping workshop followed in Shanghai, and then a two-day workshop in Tokyo. The engagement culminated in client getting valuable observation insights; setting up a mini-innovation lab; and taking two projects forward to the pilot program stage.
UCLA Anderson School of Management
Exec ed program integrates a dose of innovation
The Clinic Leadership Institute (CLI), a year-long program produced by Blue Shield Foundation California, brings together senior leadership teams from community health clinics in five California cities. With widely divergent clientele and resources, these nonprofit clinics face a range of challenges across the changing landscape of healthcare services. Events included a day-long "Clinic Dashboard” workshop at UCLA, analogous observation visits to a cruise ship and a chain restaurant, and multiple phone-based mentoring conferences. Each of the clinics were able to apply insights from their CLI work to innovation programs at their clinic, ranging from increasing employee communication to improving the patient experience.
Fujitsu Labs America
R&D lab looks for innovative uses for new technology
Working with the Sunnyvale-based research lab of this multinational information technology firm, our six-month project-based engagement introduced design thinking methods through a series of workshops, field observations, and mentoring onsite and via phone.
Beginning with a day-long workshop at the client site, we led a 20-person client group (including the lab’s president) through brainstorming and storyboarding exercises to identify potential future projects. The client convened two groups to pursue two internal project initiatives.
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