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Author's profile photo Jochen Guertler

Our design thinking adventure in Brazil: Learnings and Outlook

So, back again in good old Walldorf: full of a lot of new impressions and learnings from our design thinking adventure in Brazil.

We did 10 workshops with about 250 colleagues. We did long line-ups ordered by waking up time, age and first letter of the first name of your morther. We We create a lot personas, POV´s, ideas and prototypes. We collected some good answers about the question “what the hell is design thinking?” and we created a lot of motivation and interest to do “more” design thinking. To learn more about it, to do “real” projects, to integrate design thinking into the daily work. So – mission accomplished I would say.

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What we like

We started our workshops with the constraint that we are only two coaches to run workshops with 25-35 colleagues. So we had no chance to provide explicit coaching for every team during the workshops. Therefore we decided to build on the wallet exercise from the Stanford design thinking experts by adding team aspects. We prepared print outs for all workshop participants to ensure that the teams were able to do the single steps more or less on their own. And yes this worked very well.

As the workshops were open for all colleagues from the location we had very mixed teams from different areas. This was quite positive for an interdisciplinary team work and also the colleagues reported us this back as a great thing to get connected to colleagues “I never met before in the labs”.

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We decided to run two challenges during the workshops which are both related to the daily work of the colleagues: “Re-design transportation experience to the labs” and “Design future workspaces at the labs to stimulate innovation and collaboration”. And although we did “only” awareness trainings a lot of interesting ideas where created. We collected all of them and Stefan, the MD of the labs, will discuss all of them with the colleagues in a follow-up session.

What we wish

We decided to  run the workshops in the entry hall of the labs as this was the only “open” space without fixed tables. This was good as we therefore did our design thinking trainings in a very visible way for everybody but of course it was also very (too) noisy. This is something we should definitely improve in the future.

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A big “WE WISH”: a GONG to support our never-ending fight for time-boxing 😆

And a HOW TO is also clear: HOW TO continue design thinking now in the SAP labs Brazil – well, we have some ideas and perhaps there will a another design thinking adventure in the coming future. Keep you posted …

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      Author's profile photo Raquel Pereira da Cunha
      Raquel Pereira da Cunha

      Hi Jochen,

      thanks for sharing your experience in SAP Labs Brazil. I wish I could be there. Any chance to have such an experience in Sao Paulo too? I just read all your blogs, thanks for the initiative of bringing more information about DT to SCN.

      I have been very interested in DT since I met Heike and had also attended a DT training in Sao Paulo. I hope I have a chance to meet you at Teched, are you going to Las Vegas or Madrid?

      Kind Regards,


      Author's profile photo Jochen Guertler
      Jochen Guertler
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Raquel,

      thanks for your feedback. Currently we do not have concrete plans to come back to Brazil but there is a high interest in doing more trainings in Sao Leopoldo and in this case we could perhaps combine this with a visit in Sao Paulo? Would be nice ,-)

      Due to a missing travel budget I have no chance to visit Madrid or Las Vegas ..

      Best regards