Driving Change with Design Thinking


By: Mindy Bostick, Anne Shoulders

The business world is constantly and rapidly changing, but despite the need for swift adaptation, many organizations simply aren’t built to pivot quickly. With traditional change management processes, leaders often design changes based on ideal business scenarios and desired results, as well as what they believe impacted employees will need during the transformation process. These are still very important considerations, but there is one additional step required for sustainable adoption of the change: garnering employee buy-in.

Organizations need a change management approach that intentionally addresses the different needs and challenges of employees, middle management, and leaders. We call this people-centric change. Not only does this approach enable more effective change management, it also helps to manage the impacts of change saturation. Using design thinking principles, people-centric change is crafted with an intentional consideration of the experiences of all of the people impacted by the change. When leaders intentionally understand and address the perspectives of team members at each phase of the process—from identifying the challenge to implementing the change solution—voices are heard, collaboration thrives, and strategy is strengthened.


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