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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.

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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?

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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 …

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