Designing a Design Thinking Approach to HRD

Mark Bailey, Brian Harney, Alison Pearce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This article considers the value of design thinking as applied to a HRD context, Specifically, it demonstrates how design thinking can be employed through a case study drawn from the GETM3 programme. It reports on the design, development, and delivery of a design thinking workshop which was created to draw out and develop ideas from students and recent graduates about the fundamental training and skills requirements of future employment. While design thinking has been widely deployed in innovation and entrepreneurship, its application to HRD is still very much embryonic. Our overview illustrates how the key characteristics of the design thinking process resonate with those required from HRD (e.g. focus on end user, problem solving, feedback, and innovation). Our contribution stems from illuminating a replicable application of design system thinking including both the process and the outcomes of this application. We conclude that design thinking is likely to serve as a critical mind-set, tool, and strategy to facilitate HRD practitioners and advance HRD practice.


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