Design Thinking Coaching:  1on1 or Group

We can connect you to an excellent design thinking coach who can help you apply design thinking in your own work, with your teams, and within your organization. Just send us an email to learn more about the options.

What is coaching for design thinking?

Coaching is a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve. To be a successful a design thinking coach requires a knowledge and understanding of process (design thinking frameworks and coaching) as well as the variety of styles, skills and techniques that are appropriate to the context in which the coaching takes place.  This is different than mentoring which is off-line to help one person in making significant transitions in knowledge, work, or thinking.

Why coaching works?

Coaching works for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the biggest factor that contributes to the success of coaching is the relationship that develops between client and coach that is critical and has the largest impact on coaching outcomes (see coaching outcomes research from De Haan & Page, 2013a; 2013b).  In developing that relationship, a good coach who builds trust and rapport with their client can help the coachee get unstuck, shift their thinking, see new possibilities, try different behaviors, and achieve breakthrough results. Specifically, coaching is most powerful when the following five factors are present during the coaching process:

  • Awareness: This is about helping the coachee become aware of the key behaviors that either help or hinder their progress and growth. We can’t change what we’re not aware of, so cultivating awareness in the coachee for how they show up and what they can do differently is crucial.
  • Alignment: Coaching works best when there is alignment with what the coachee wants to work on and what is significant to the organization. It is also important to have buy-in and involvement from a sponsor such as a direct boss or human resources representative, so there is a common understanding of the focus of the coaching as well as internal support for the process.
  • Action: Creating clear goals and a written action plan will help provide a road map for achieving the vision for the future. The plan also provides a baseline for the current state, pre-coaching, and indicates progress toward the desired state post-coaching.
  • Accountability: Coaching by design creates the conditions for the coachee to take responsibility for their growth, and provides built-in accountability because the coach will check in on the progress the coachee made toward agreed-upon action items from the last coaching session.
  • Acceleration: Due to the clarity of goals, support in overcoming obstacles, alignment on the focus of the coaching, a written action plan, and a committed coach that holds the coachee accountable, the pace in which a coachee achieves results is often significantly accelerated. Oftentimes, challenges that a leader has faced for many months or even years that they have been unable to address on their own become resolved much quicker and with better results when a coach is involved. This is the power of coaching in action.

Design Thinking Coaching Programs

Here’s an example of what a design thinking coaching program could look like with Tom, one of the expert coaches in our network.

1on1 and group coaching with Tom include multiple opportunities (i.e. coaching sessions) to accelerate your learning and application of design thinking tools, processes, and methodologies. The format for these coaching sessions will be similar, but allow for more detailed coaching conversations as needed or appropriate. The general outline will include an opportunity for the participant(s) to:

  • Share their design thinking application successes and failures
  • A deeper dive into a recent design thinking application with feedback from Tom and others (if group coaching option)
  • Learning topics (i.e. tools, methodologies) that the participant(s) would like to learn more about
  • Burning questions – unanswered questions about any innovation topic (e.g. application, facilitation, methods, etc)

The Benefits of Design Thinking Coaching (1on1 & Group)

Below are just a few of the benefits that you will experience from your participation in individual or group design thinking coaching with:

  • You will learn new skills, methods, and approaches of innovation.
  • You will accelerate your ability to brainstorm, build, and test new ideas and concepts, which will allow you to take on any project that comes your way, no matter how difficult.
  • You will achieve your innovation and professional goals faster than you ever dreamed possible, helping you to achieve promotions and recognition for your work.
  • You will enhance collaboration and teamwork with your colleagues, which will allow you and your team to work faster and more effectively than you ever have before.
  • You will give and receive feedback in a safe, inviting, and constructive environment, so that you can fast track your improvement and ultimately your ability to innovate on all fronts.
  • You will benefit greatly from the design thinking experience, education, influence, and resources of myself and others (if you are doing group coaching) … so that you are never without a path forward on any project or problem.
    Here’s what people are saying about Tom’s coaching: “I have enjoyed working alongside Tom and seeing firsthand the kinds of transformational experiences and impressive outcomes his dedicated leadership and passion for design thinking have produced!”“Tom was awesome to work with and very informative!  Design thinking was totally new to me by the start of it and after a 2 day training I felt like I understood how and when to use design thinking, had practiced many of its core capabilities, could be an advocate to explain it to others, knew where to go for additional help, and had fun while learning it.  Tom’s energy and passion for the topic made it a very enjoyable experience!”

    Contact us if you are interested in connecting to a design thinking coach and we can share with you different suggestions of coaching programs that may be beneficial.