70 | Developing Leaders Issue 34: 2020 Executive DEVELOPMENT While Design Thinking is founded on a five stage process (Empathise- Define-Ideate-Prototype-Test), Hehn sees the real richness of it lying in the cross-functional teams that it brings together to tackle these complex issues; “We hear all the time that interdisciplinary teams are important, or that diversity promotes this, that or the other thing, but the bottom line is that you have people on your team with a depth of knowledge on different issues and they bring entirely different perspectives and can see things that others might have missed. You’re constantly supplementing each other’s knowledge gaps.” Brooks and Hehn’s three-day program   ‘Creating the Agile Organization with Design Thinking’   takes the participant through the Design Thinking process, bringing to light key differences with other approaches to innovation, and then supports them in engaging with their own business challenges in small teams. A story-telling component helps others ‘Empathise’ with their teammates’ challenge and better understand the context, and ultimately break the problem down through the ‘Defining’ element, before jumping into the open space of ‘Ideation’. This leads to the rapid prototyping – and discarding failed concepts – that Hehn mentioned at the outset; feeding these back through the loop and testing again. It will be an intense 72 hours. Dr. Rachel Brooks is Program Manager of Custom Programs at the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law (ES-HSG), St Gallen University. Jennifer Hehn, research associate and a lecturer at the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law (ES-HSG), St Gallen University. Design Thinking Complex Problems