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Using design thinking to get closer to customers

As enterprise computing continues to evolve at breakneck speeds, tech powerhouses like Cisco are looking for new ways to stay lean, fast, and hungry. The company has long had a passion for creating great products and has seen success with incorporating design methods, but its current silos and systems were slowing the company, so it was time for a shake-up.

Idean, part of Capgemini Invent, collaborated with Cisco to develop and launch the Cisco Design Thinking program: a series of digital and tangible experiences that gave Cisco employees, partners, and clients a new set of tools and methods to work better together.

We engaged Cisco’s design leaders and key stakeholders in one-on-one sessions and workshops to develop the vision and program for Cisco Design Thinking. This initial phase helped create a program focused on the specific needs, challenges, and opportunities for over 70,000 Cisco employees. These carefully orchestrated workshops yielded alignment, ownership, and buy-in that energized the larger organization.

The first phase centered on tailoring design thinking approaches into a unified Cisco Design Thinking practice, including framework and tools, and crafting a playbook.

Creating a framework and approach that felt truly native to Cisco was a critical step in rallying core constituencies and ensuring cultural fit for the long haul. Tailoring the framework was also an opportunity to communicate and highlight to beginners, newcomers, and experienced practitioners key facets of design thinking critical to their success at Cisco.

The Cisco Design Playbook teaches what Design Thinking is and how to use it. It offers practical tools for running workshops, understanding users, and ideating in a human-centric way.

“The Cisco Design Thinking Workshop taught us that it’s no longer about building the capabilities, but to empathize with our customers’ emotions and how they think about engaging with Cisco. Learning about Cisco Design Thinking is a nice side benefit, but the ability to generate valuable breakthrough ideas is priceless. I highly recommend other product managers and program leaders who want to win over customers for life to fully take advantage of this approach.” – Christina Wong, Head of CDX at Cisco

Learn how Design Thinking can scale your organization here.

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