Thinking outside of the box: Design Thinking Workshop
Have you ever played Pictionary and had someone who kept shouting the same word over and over even though he or she was told it was incorrect? To that player all other words and ideas have faded out and all they can think of is what they most associate with the scribbles on the page.
In that example, the player has become fixated on their initial solution, and can’t see any other options. In my daily role, I often fall into the same trap. There are times that the solution that I have fixed into my mind works, however just as often it fails because I did not perceive the original situation properly.
So when we were posed with the question of how Mindset could build and grow a remarkable community, we knew that we could not solve the problem using the Pictionary approach. Before I go too far into this, I suppose I should explain why Mindset is trying to “build a community” and what this community is to us.
When I first interviewed for my role at Mindset I asked Gavin Quinn, the founder of Mindset, what he wants to accomplish with this company. His answer caught me off guard. It wasn’t to make a lot of money or any number of other reasons I might have guessed, but instead to improve people’s lives while they are at work. That mindset is what drives Mindset to want to build this community today. The community is what funds, fuels, and motivates the team at Mindset.
That same team is passionate about Design Thinking. The Design Thinking process has helped us to create numerous apps that drive productivity and remove some of the headaches that come with SAP. These workshops have also uncovered other issues that companies were not aware of or extra steps end users were going through to avoid struggles. Because we know how well the process works, we decided to turn our focus inward to solve the challenge of building community.
Design Thinking Process
The Design Thinking process is broken into 6 steps: Understand, Observe, Point of View, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. This process keeps a team on the same page for the desired result, ensures the right mission statement is addressed, and stimulates creativity, thereby keeping a team from shouting the same word over and over. The end goal of the Design Thinking Workshop is to have a prototype that can be used to begin testing.
Determining the Mission Statement was easy for us. We knew what we wanted to achieve from this workshop: a remarkable community. A community that we could serve, teach and learn from.
The observation phase was eye-opening for us. We looked at the web of connections we already have, from consultants to clients and everyone else who has interacted with us. Quickly, we recognized our community is primarily growing from word of mouth. This was somewhat expected, we did not expect to find that we target two main audiences almost exclusively: the active job seeker and individuals focused on innovation within SAP. While the community we were targeting was growing quickly, we discovered that we were missing out on the majority of SAP professionals.
After examining our current community involvement, we determined we had unintentionally targeted only a small portion of our desired community. It makes sense that the largest portion of our community are consultants: we have a team that actively recruits consultants. The second largest portion of our current community are the professionals who are engaged with Mindset’s solutions team. However, we discovered we’d missed practically everyone else we wanted to engage.
These observations and a new point of view brought us to a point where we were able to ideate new solutions. The team began thinking of ideas on how we could create this remarkable community, and we came up with several answers. Perhaps more applications to help with job searches or different user-groups to help educate the community, or perhaps an open channel of communication to our team for SAP professionals to ask questions. As a team, we were able to come up with more than a one-note solution.
Now we have prototype ideas that the Mindset team is testing to grow and foster a remarkable community. Participating in this Design Thinking workshop lead me to realize that a team working together through this process can produce more and better ideas. While Mindset works to grow our community through the prototypes we are testing, I would like to hear back from our readers. What can Mindset do for you? What would you like to see out of our community? What would make you feel included in our community or what would you need to see to participate in this community? I am excited to hear from our readers! Please email me at email@example.com with your ideas.
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