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Episode 153

February 23rd, 2022

153:Transforming HR with Design Thinking with Nicole Dessain

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    Nicole Dessain is a consultant, Design Thinker, and proud ‘recovering perfectionist’ – and sees those three labels as closely related.

    Her work in HR consultancy is informed by her training in Design Thinking. In turn, this has taught her to value process over perfection.

    Through Design Thinking, Working Out Loud, and facilitation, Nicole has found brilliant insights into HR – some breakthroughs, some roadblocks.

    In this episode, Nicole eloquently explains her key learnings so far.

    Combining facilitation and HR can produce some fascinating results and has some surprising applications. I highly recommend taking this crash course in HR, facilitation, and Design Thinking!

    Find out about

    • How and why the spotlight has fallen on Human Resources since 2020
    • Why a shift of focus from ‘resources’ to ‘humans’ has become imperative
    • What it looks like to apply Design Thinking to HR and how Nicole does it
    • How Design Thinking asks us to challenge the judgement mindset HR can demand
    • Why the number of workshops in a Design Thinking project will shift depending on an organisation’s culture
    • How to present the results of a Design Thinking process in a memorable narrative structure

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    Questions and Answers

    01:11When did you start calling yourself a facilitator – if you do? 03:39What has to change in your mindset and the client’s mindset to adopt a Design Thinking approach? 06:17What’s your history with Design Thinking – when did it begin? 08:01Does Design Thinking become something different when we apply it to different areas of our life or work? 09:40Has your perception of Design Thinking changed since you began practising it? 11:26Why did it take a pandemic to get HR a seat at the top of the decision-making table? 15:58How do you use Design Thinking specifically within an HR context? 22:27How do you account for the biases that may come from working with HR teams – the part of an organisation that knows the company better than most employees? 29:46What do you recommend to HR professionals and Design Thinkers when it comes to interviewing their peers? Is there a different approach they can take? 31:45How about when we interview colleagues? 33:46Do you find that HR teams do conduct more interviews after they have this eye-opening experience? 39:25What’s your process for bringing to life the results of a Design Thinking process – how do you sell it in to leadership? 41:58What do you think is the easiest way for an HR department to start experimenting with Design Thinking? 46:16Rethinking the HR function. 51:16What makes a workshop fail? 52:31How much of the Design Thinking workshop process can be done asynchronously? 54:08What would it take for design thinking to become a normal tool for HR? 55:17Will facilitation become a key part of the HR professional’s skillset? 59:04When you were asked to ideate by drawing and felt terrified, how did you overcome that?

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