You are here

Design Thinking: Generating Pragmatic Ideas

Published on
19 December 2017

How can we use design tools to develop innovative and competitive solutions for business? Design thinking is the art of creating unexpected solutions to solve complex problems. This creative process was inspired by industrial design. It allows employees and managers to go beyond traditional logic and stereotypes. Here we zoom in on the work carried out with the SNCF.

Josiena Gotzsch is a senior professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management. She specializes in innovation by design. As an industrial design engineer at Philips, Allibert and others, she also holds a doctorate in business management for design purposes. She is the design thinking expert for the Grenoble Ecole de Management Certificate in innovation, Design Thinking & Intrapreneurship.

Pablo Picasso said that: "Each child is an artist. The question is how do we continue to be artists when we grow up." (Davidson, 1976). In line with this reasoning, design thinking is built on one prerequisite:

"An open mind that can go beyond analytical thinking to exploit one's creative potential. A desire for curiosity and the willingness to explore unusual paths," highlights Josiena.

Developing empathy with the user

The design thinking methodology begins with a discovery phase that is centered around the user. "SNCF employees who were part of design thinking training at GEM are, each in their own way, users of the train. As a result, employees should know in practical terms what needs to be improved. As part of the SNCF Majelan training program, 19 SNCF employees from all types of jobs and levels of responsibility, were charged with exploring all the major problems faced by train users and the company," explains Josiena.

Testing tools

How can train station wait times be more interesting for travellers? How can you efficiently fight fraud? How can you shorten lines for automatic terminals in train stations? How can you improve the security and cleanliness of the Gare du Nord train station? You can look at the trip of a traveller from London, you can improve information signs, you can improve how heavy luggage is handled... "We were basically looking for all the problems that could be solved. The discovery phase is about expanding the initial diagnostic of a problem. It then becomes a strong point to help find solutions to problems that can be recurrent and complex," adds Josiena.

Implementing ideas

The second phase is that of creating ideas AND overcoming the temptation to simply stop after the first idea. You have to generate as many ideas as possible. "For example, participants will define a standard profile for a situation (for example, a fraudulent passenger).

Then they will test the profile against a variety of ideas for improvement. It's important to test several plans," underlines Josienna. Some ideas can be developed visually and with simply prototypes that can be tested by users. This phase also integrates emerging technology to help finetune solutions.

Finally, the third step is to choose the best ideas. This implementation phase enables the company to finetune the idea until it’s completely developed and put into use.

The SNCF has fully invested itself in this design thinking approach. Josiena is also working with the Schneider Electric group. A discovery module was developed and a dozen sessions are planned for 2018.

The Certificate in Innovation, Design Thinking and Intrapreneurship includes three modules for a total of 14 hours training. It's possible to integrate the content over one, two or three sessions (in English).

Goals:

  • To understand the stakes and advantages of design thinking
  • To develop a creative and innovative approach to problem solving
  • To develop self-confidence, intuition and risk-taking

On the same subject

  • Innovation : entre le secret et l’ouverture
    Published on 26 March 2018

    Innovation: Balancing Secrecy and Openness

    Research confirms that, in most cases, the benefits of open research outweigh secrecy and knowledge protection in most cases. As a result, companies have to find the right balance between protecting their knowledge and exchanging with external...

  • Leadership: April and GEM Create an Immersive Learning Experience
    Published on 26 February 2018

    Leadership: April and GEM Create an Immersive Learning Experience

    The April Group was recently recognized for its training program launched in collaboration with Grenoble Ecole de Management. Discover an immersive learning

  • Conforama forme ses équipes au management avec GEM
    Published on 01 December 2017

    Management Training: Conforama Collaborates With GEM

    Custom training programs enable participants to learn applicable skills and a common foundation of shared knowledge. Conforama recently launched such a training program in collaboration with GEM.

  • Formation sur mesure à GEM
    Published on 01 December 2017

    Why Choose Custom Programs?

    Thinking about employee training? Custom programs offer a unique opportunity to access excellent training solutions that are tailor-made to meet your company’s needs.

  • Published on 23 October 2017

    Management: Why Become a Business Coach?

    Improve managerial skills and techniques, teach how to manage conflicts, learn self-control… For the past ten years, Grenoble Ecole de Management has offered managers, consultants, trainers and HR employees a training program for individual and...

  • Published on 19 October 2017

    EMBA: 7th Place in France For Grenoble Ecole de Management

    The Grenoble MBA is ranked 54th among the 100 best Part-time MBA in the world (up 13 places from last year) in the Financial Times Global MBA ranking.

  • Erno TORNIKOSKI is a Professor in Entrepreneurship at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 28 September 2017

    Research: Entrepreneurship, understanding Technology-Based Competitive Advantage

    Policy-makers, researchers and entrepreneurs generally agree that R...

  • Bénédicte Tilloy, artiste et ex-DRH à la SNCF, a posté ses aquarelles sur Twitter, entrainant l’initiative Art Wagon, portée par un conducteur de trains
    Published on 13 September 2017

    Art: Bringing Emotion Back into Company Life

    Art is a gateway to emotions and offers an interesting approach to foster more humane relationships at work.

  • Team management for doctors
    Published on 07 July 2017

    Healthcare: Providing Doctors With Team Management Training

    - In 2013, a pilot program was launched to train French doctors, pharmacists and department heads to better understand team management. This program was a turning point in the management process at the French public hospital in Grenoble (CHU GA)....

  • Adrien Barthel (GEM ESC 2010) crée un French Tech à Singapour
    Published on 03 July 2017

    Creating a French Tech in Singapore

    French Tech goes to Singapore, a hub for technology and innovation in Southeast Asia.

  • Published on 17 June 2017

    Nanovalor: a Platform to Evaluate the Value of New Tech

    Emerging technology can impact society and the economy in a variety of ways. Nanovalor creates a platform to analyze and learn about the value of new tech.

  • Armelle Bonenfant, conseillère en formation à Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 15 June 2017

    Continuing Education: Improving Your General Management Skills

    The new General Management degree at Grenoble Ecole de Management provides a 15 month program to develop fundamental management skills.

  • Cybersécurité : prévenir les risques spécifiques aux TPE/PME
    Published on 17 May 2017

    Cybersecurity: the Challenge for SMEs

    SMEs are a prime target for cybercriminals. Training remains the best defense against such threats.

  • Published on 04 May 2017

    Study Trip Report

    2017 was a great success for the entrepreneurs of the MSc Innovation, Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Grenoble Ecole de Management. Students had the opportunity to travel to Silicon Valley (USA) and discover the world’s leading hub for innovation...

  • Crowdfunding: research shows uniqueness and differentiation are key.
    Published on 20 November 2016

    Research: When Selling a New Idea, Differentiation Beats Transparency

    If you would like to raise funds for a project using crowdfunding, recent research highlights that it is better to underline what makes your idea unique rather than emphasize transparency and a multitude of explanations. This conclusion is the...

  • Grenoble Ecole de Management’s part-time MBA is ranked in the Financial Times 2016 Executive MBA ranking, published on Monday 16, October. The Grenoble program gained 20 positions . It is performing  the highest  progression in this year’s ranking.
    Published on 17 October 2016

    A jump of 20 places in the FT Emba world ranking 2016

    Grenoble Ecole de Management’s part-time MBA is ranked in the Financial Times 2016 Executive MBA ranking, published on Monday 16, October. The Grenoble program gained 20 positions . It is performing the highest progression in this year’s ranking.

  • Collaboration
    Published on 10 October 2016

    The DBA: The missing link?

    Grenoble Ecole de Management Director of Executive Education, Gaël FOUILLARD discusses the benefits of collaboration between researchers and corporate partners and points out the advantages of efficiently connecting both parties in order to bring...

  • Published on 16 July 2015

    Research: Unraveling the Link Between Managerial Risk-Taking and Innovation - the Mediating Role of a Risk-Taking Climate

    Innovation has become a crucial factor for companies looking to maintain their competitive advantage. Yet creating innovative ideas requires a certain level of risk-taking. While research on this subject has focused primarily on risk-taking at one...

  • Published on 21 May 2015

    Human Resource Students Create Serious Games for Businesses

    From April 20th to 24th, four virtual games were created by 13 students from the Grenoble Ecole de Management MSc in Human Resource Management. The games were aimed at developing innovative tools to help businesses train their teams and staff on...

  • Vincent Mangematin, Associate Dean for Corporate Relations and Research at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 17 March 2015

    Orchestrating Innovation with User Communities in the Creative Industries

    In search of continuous innovation, the digital creative industries have expanded their interactions with user communities to develop their products. This study highlights the evolution of these company-user relationships that allow for fluid...