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"Design Thinking for Managers" by Prof. Ricardo Lim

#MBA #MIM #Japan #Nagoya

Design thinking has been famously employed by the likes of Apple, Google, Samsung, and GE to overcome the “wicked problems” of consumers by taking a user-centric approach driven by empathy. For Day 2 of his Design Thinking for Managers course, Prof. Ricardo Lim, visiting professor from the Asian Institute of Management, organized group collaborations on empathy maps throughout the first half of the session.

Empathy maps are an ethnographic strategy for qualitatively understanding the underlying circumstantial and psychological factors that influence customer satisfaction. The class reconvened after their lunch break to share their conclusions about examples of users whose biographical information and attitudes towards a specific service offered by a company were detailed in an assigned case.

Dubbing each persona with a Marvel-style alliterative nickname (e.g. “Demanding Diana,” “Micromanaging Michael,” “Crazy Karen”), participants delved into discussion about the personalities and motivations of these users, speculatively contextualizing their issues in order to establish an overall strategy to satisfy the deeper needs of similar consumers.

As one participant summarized the process, “First, put yourself in the position of customer.
Then try to find out the source of the problem.
If the source is common, then everyone will face/experience the same problem.”

By the end of this course, students will have experienced immersion in the design thinking process that involves gathering relevant data about the problem, understanding the end-user’s needs, ideating possible solutions, rapidly prototyping, testing, and repeating from the start. Throughout the course, students are asked to maintain a journal of the learning process.