Our Workshop participants have told us that getting buy-in from other team members to use Design Thinking is one of their most common hurdles. It makes sense, you attended the Design Thinking Workshop, challenged your assumptions and used the tools and saw the results, but they didn’t.

Change can be scary, especially when it involves a new way of thinking that challenges ‘the way we’ve always done things’. Just as we apply empathy in Design Thinking to understand our user, the same can be done for our colleagues to understand some people’s apprehension to change.

One thing we know about change: some people thrive on it and embrace the new with open arms. Others take a little longer, they are probably sitting somewhere on the change curve between denial and anger. They are not convinced that the Design-Thinking approach works and are perfectly comfortable in the status quo.  

Here’s our tips: 

Give them our Design Thinking Guide

The Power of Design Thinking: 2019 Edition, is a great tool to share with peers and stakeholders and to help you prepare. It includes tools to use with teams so they can see the tools in action and familiarise themselves with the methodology.

Focus on the problem to be solved

The Design Thinking mindset encourages you to focus on the problem rather than the solution. Gently ask ‘why’ questions to keep the problem, and the user, at the centre of every discussion. We’ve worked with teams who keep a spare seat at meetings to remind them to always consider the customer’s perspective.  


Use the tools

Your wider team will want proof that Design Thinking works before they even consider a fundamental change to the way they work. Start using the tools from day one. One of the best tools to get teams thinking differently about their customers/user is Persona Maps. It’s fun, promotes communication and critical thinking, and unearths new perspectives. 


At G2, we know the power of Design Thinking, we have seen it over and over in the individuals and teams we train, we’ve witnessed individuals increase their innovation activity by 98%*

While there is nothing more compelling than your own results, it may be helpful to share these stats from IBM** about the success with their Design Thinking practices:

  • Reduces risk and increases portfolio profitability by $18.6 million

  • Cut costs by accelerating projects $20.6 million

  • Faster time-to-market x 2

  • 75% reduced design time

  • 33% reduced development time.

Start small

Once your team becomes more familiar with the terminology and the tools, this comfort will translate to confidence. Starting people off with a complex challenge and a new process can create a double jeopardy effect.  Instead, start teaching others to use Design Thinking on small everyday challenges before moving to more complex challenges. This will build confidence and increase motivation.

Weekly or daily check ins

Arrange twice weekly stand-up check ins with your team to determine:

  • Are they using the Design Thinking process?

  • What are they using it for?

  • What is working well?

  • What were the challenges?

  • Do they need any assistance? 

  • What are their ideas?


Ask us for help

We’re here to help.  We have coaches who can guide your team through a project using a Design Thinking approach, run a Design Sprint or customise training for your organisation.

Talk to us about our bespoke team training programs. These completely customised programs factor in your unique challenges, your customer, your organisation and your industry.

We love nothing more than hearing about your results. Please share your successes or talk to us about how we can help you work through barriers.

*Results from G2 Innovation training, Destination Entrepreneur. Ask us if you’d like to readc the full report.

**Source: The Total Economic Impact of IBM’s Design Thinking Practice.

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