In line with its thrust area of the development of National Productivity Organizations (NPOs), the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) founded in 1961 in Tokyo http://www.apo-tokyo.org/, launched early in the 2000′s, a series of annual workshops on enhancing NPO’s core competence in consultancy activities. NPOs (designated by their respective governments to spearhead the productivity movement and to provide consultancy services to various organizations within their countries to improve their productivity) are facing the need to develop more specialized skills to address complex assignments in this time of unprecedented change. In this regard, this year’s workshop that has taken place in Fiji 15-19 August 2016 had as a main topic the understanding the role Innovation plays on building a sustainable competitive advantage and how to develop capabilities within the NPOs to fulfill the growing demand in this field they will face in the future.
For this purpose I was invited by APO as the resource person for leading the workshop called “Customer-Centric Innovation through Design Thinking”. Up to 24 qualified participants representing more than 16 countries were attending the workshop and got immersed in the mindset, framework and techniques underpinning Design Thinking.
The agenda (topics handled) for the workshop was:
1.Introduction. Innovation is no longer an option but an obligation in a VUCA environment (a topsy-turvy world).
2.Thinking Creatively/Differently as the only way to thrive in this environment.
3.Customer-Centric Innovation through Design Thinking (DT). Framework and process.
4.DT in action.
Specifically in this last point, participants got to work to apply everything learnt so far to generate breakthrough ideas and become the consulting firm of choice in their respective countries. In order to do that they used the DT-kit 4-step Creative Problem Solving for Business I developed months ago http://www.enricsegarra.com/new-nuevo-design-thinking-kit/ to ensure very disruptive and promising results.