Torqueing up the Design Power of GE’s Global Digital Foundries
Somersault’s approach strikes the exact right balance – providing the expertise and “know how” regarding Design Thinking that we needed, AND working with us to actually do/lead/experience it ourselves. They were extremely flexible in working with us and various teams to understand where we were in the initiative and our comfort levels with Design Thinking concepts in order to tailor unique experiences to either jumpstart our team or help unstick them at a point where they didn’t seem to know what to do next. It was this ability for us to “do it, with help” that not only created/maintained the sense of ownership for our teams, but also created the confidence for us to know that we could do it again ourselves.
Somersault guided us through the process in a 12- week project end-to-end. They started by getting us off to a strong start, leading the kick-off meeting, but then stepped back as the project went along so that we could lead more, and build our confidence. By the end of the project, they were playing more of a cheerleader and advisor role, as we prepared for our capstone meeting.
This project was pivotal in many ways. First, it was our first major project to use Design Thinking and the cross-functional team that we involved had such a positive experience that they are all fervent advocates, which is an important early step in getting the organization encouraged to explore and try Design Thinking for themselves. Through the experience, we also built our confidence in our abilities to lead these types of projects and understand the nuances that matter in terms of how to do Design Thinking well versus just going through the motions.
Somersault was vital in this in terms of pointing out details of how we might structure experiences or brainstorming with us as we prepared and project planned. Somersault also helped us to truly internalize our experience and be conscious of not just what we were doing, but why, by leading our team through reflection exercises and discussions in our meetings. It may sound minor, but the result of discussing our shared experience and capturing the “so whats” really helped the team to align – and stay aligned throughout the project.
Lastly, we actually came out of the project with some new insights about our customers! While we might have known, for example, that small business owners try something and, when they succeed, keep doing the same thing, we were able to take that observation to a deeper insight to see that customers get stuck in “limiting patterns.” This enabled us to think about not only what we might do to help them, but also what we need to make it feel like for them – easier, more approachable, and even fun! One of the new solution ideas that we’re pursuing is genuinely new, and I doubt we would have come up with it on our own without having going through this project with Somersault!
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