DesignThinkers Group to launch in New Zealand

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facilitator-darryl-mcclay.jpgfacilitator-martin-sawbridge.jpgInternationally acclaimed DesignThinkers Group is to launch in New Zealand this month.

Fronted by co-partners Darryl McClay (left) and Martin Sawbridge (right), DesignThinkers Group New Zealand will teach world-class curriculums in Design Thinking capabilities, as developed by the global DesignThinkers Group Academy.

Founded in the Netherlands in 2007, DesignThinkers Group is a leading ‘design driven’ innovations agency that is now represented around the world in 18 countries and growing.

Says McClay: “We feel incredibly proud to be part of this prestigious group and teach their highly successful and world-class programme here in New Zealand.

“This is the first time a curriculum developed by the DesignThinkers Group will be taught in New Zealand and through our teachings, our goal is to help Kiwi companies learn the Design Thinking capabilities they need to build creative confidence and make the transition from being product orientated and sales driven to being service orientated and human centered.

“We have over 25 years’ creative industry experience and collectively. Martin and I have had the opportunity to work on and with a fantastic portfolio of New Zealand brands, including: Air New Zealand, V Energy, Blunt and Tip Top. More widely, we have also worked on many International brands, including: British Airways, Kellogg’s, Mercedes-Benz Qantas and Virgin Australia.

“For us, Design Thinking is a proven mindset and process that delivers positive change and differentiates companies from their competitors.  It has been used incredibly successfully within creative communities since the late 1960s and is now recognised as a powerful tool that helps businesses across all industries implement change for the better, enabling them to develop and deliver innovative ideas, facilitate change and offer solutions to complicated and complex problems.

“There is a growing appetite and expectation for companies to embrace and use Design Thinking practices. For them to use it to its best effect however, they need to fully understand the core processes and have the skills required to be able to put it into everyday practice.  

“Through teaching an extensive toolbox of Design Thinking capabilities that have been created and developed by our DesignThinkers Group Academy in the Netherlands, our key focus is to teach people and organisations the fundamentals in Design Thinking and provide bespoke guidance specific to each company’s needs.  They can then incorporate these skills into how they work and go on to create meaningful change within their own business.

“The end result enables businesses to get a better clarity on the needs of their customers, become faster to market with products and services (lower cost to entry and validation through rapid prototyping), get increased employee engagement through co-creation and collaborate more to help solve problems and create new opportunities.”

Says Sawbridge: “As Design Thinkers ourselves, Darryl and I were both looking for ways to broaden our own skillsets.  After conducting lots of research, we found there to be very limited advanced Design Thinking training options available in Australasia.  In fact, we had to travel as far as Chicago to learn at the level we were looking for and it was then that we were introduced to the DesignThinkers Group.

“After taking part in the DesignThinkers workshops in Chicago, we realised there was a real gap in the market for such educational training courses and workshops here.  We then approached the global head office of DesignThinkers Group in Amsterdam to discuss whether we could bring their offering to New Zealand and become local partners – and here we are today!

“Launching the New Zealand hub of the DesignThinkers Group means our customers get to benefit from the best of both worlds.  Through experienced local representation, they receive world-class learning and training resources to help create positive change and deliver meaningful customer experiences within their own organisations.

“As a global group, we also collaborate across the countries we operate in, sharing key learnings for everyone to learn from.  This element of our business will be particularly useful to global brands who are looking to connect across multiple markets.

“To kick things off with a bang and to celebrate the launch of DesignThinkers Group New Zealand, we will deliver two inaugural learning-by-doing workshops in April, together with key-note speaker and global Design Thinking expert, Marc Bolick.

The one-day Design Thinking for Customer Experience workshop focuses on Design Thinking fundamentals and how it can be applied to create powerful customer experiences. The two-day Design Thinking Facilitation Mastery workshop is designed for people with a base understanding of Design Thinking and takes a deeper dive to teach them how to run end-to-end projects (design sprints) within their own organisations.  Both are hands-on workshops where participants will ‘learn by doing’ and gain a wealth of new skills and tools that they can put into practice after.

Says Sawbridge: “These sessions provide a highly interactive experience and are the first of their kind to take place in Australasia, offering world-class teaching fundamentals in Design Thinking processes.

“With Marc, who runs DesignThinkers Group in the United States, flying in specially to present, these particular workshops will provide a rare opportunity for New Zealand businesses to get in front of a leading Design Thinking guru.  We’re expecting a lot of interest, so recommend people and businesses register early here to secure a spot!”