Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Jochen Guertler

A real design thinking adventure

Wow – this is not only a design thinking challenge – this is a real design thinking adventure: Do 10 design thinking workshops in 5 and a half days for about 300 colleagues located in Sao Leopoldo in Brasil.

Uups – such a request does not come in every day and therefore I had no other chance than to do it 😉

But how to moderate and coach workshops with 20-30 people without the support of several other coaches?

First answer: you need at least one real expert coach doing this adventure with you – so I gave Hester a call and one day later the Brasil design thinking taskforce was up and running.

Second answer: as we learned it we built on the ideas from others and reused the well-known wallet exercise from the experts from Stanford.

But wait: this exercise is nice, well established and a perfect way to introduce most aspects of design thinking work but one important part is obvisouly missing as you do this exercise by your own: the team?!

The team is missing and as this is for sure one of the cornerstones of the design thinking approach we extended the exercise to be “team-compliant”. But nevertheless more or less self-explanatory and therefore usable for large groups with only a small number of coaches.

Screen shot 2012-10-03 at 2.18.37 AM.png

And now we are in Sao Leopoldo and it is raining. No Copacabana, no beach(-girls), no sun – but rain. These are the bad news but there are also some good news: yes, there are also a lot of open-minded and motivated colleagues eager to start with design thinking.

And therefore it was a real pleasure (and yes hard work and inspired transpiration) for us to run today the first workshop with our new team-based “wallet exercise”, which in the end is about the challenge how to setup a workspace supporting an innovative and collaborative atmosphere – and what is really cool with this is the fact, that we do the workshops in an area of the building where we have a direct view to the new building, which is currently being build. Could you have a better motivation for such an question?

Screen shot 2012-10-03 at 2.28.43 AM.png

First learning for us: 1) the Brazilian colleagues are not that time-boxing aware. 2) we need as a consequence a GONG and 3) you can even re-use the plants within the design thinking space to prototype a design thinking space.

More to come during the next 9 iterations of our workshop. Keep you posted. And yes, it is still raining …

Assigned Tags

      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Tobias Trapp
      Tobias Trapp

      It's great to see that SAP is rolling out this methodology - please keep us informed!

      Best Regards,


      Author's profile photo Heike van Geel
      Heike van Geel

      nice blog Jochen.

      Say hello to fellow design thinkers  Joachim von Goetz  and Denise Pilar  while embracing Brazil lovely culture 🙂

      looking forward to further updates about your adventure