Giant corporates are joining the design thinking culture, one after the other

Giant corporates are joining the design thinking culture, one after the other

Giant corporates are joining the design thinking culture, one after the other 698 400 Use Design

Why Procter & GamblePepsiCoGEVisa and more recently, IBM, have engaged in a culture shift towards design?

When Tim Brown and the IDEO teams coined the term “Design Thinking”, they were crystalizing a method to boost innovation from the inside out.

In a way, that helped push forward the “User-centered design approach”, popularized by David Kelley. Back then, it was about a new method to create products/services, but the design process remained siloed. With nowadays ‘Design Thinking’ approach, we are talking of a cultural shift. It’s not just a new approach by designers for designers. It’s an attempt to spread the culture of creative problem solving, making it a usual practice for all businesses and industries.

Procter & Gamble

P&G was one of the first to join the movement around 2001, with the help of IDEO. Then came the book “Change by Design”, by Tim Brown, and spread the word.


After assuming the CEO post of PepsiCo in 2006, Indra Nooyi has been encouraging design thinking approaches throughout the whole organization. She believes in the power of design for innovating in both existing and new products, as well as creating more engaging interactions with the customer. This is another good example of design thinking in the fast-moving consumer goods industry.



GE’s Software Design Center promotes cross-functional team collaborations and encourages employees to adopt design thinking principles. The end user is at the core of every project at the Software Design Center. And its workshops range from marketing strategies to user experience and cyber security.

They have also worked with Frog Design to implement a comprehensive UX strategy across GE software and design, launching a platform called UX Central.



Visa’s Vice President, Global Head of Design, Kevin Lee, mentioned how the “Design Thinking Program” has helped the company become more design-driven than ever. The Visa Design Studio, founded in 2013 as a part of Visa Digital Solutions, has empowered cross-functional teams to create easier and trustworthy consumer experiences.



By hiring more designers and changing its business processes, IBM has been shifting from an engineering-centric to a design-centric company. Its recently launched platform, Bluemix, enables agile development with a customer-centered approach, all done on the cloud.


Who will be the next big ones to join them?

And if you are wondering what happens outside the traditional corporate world, just think about some famous startups with their lean business models and agile development. After all, those are not that different from a design thinking approach. Observe, experiment, iterate. Rings a bell? Google, Facebook, Twitter, AirBnb, Twitter, Spotify — just to name a few. They have all been there.

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