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Enhancing Skills Through a Competency Development Program

02 Apr 2021

CMS Business School, Centre for Executive Education & Entrepreneurship Development, JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) organized competency development program "Design Thinking for Problem Solving Masterclass" from December 1, 2020 to December 7,2020.
The Masterclass sessions aimed to develop Design Thinking competencies to foster a customer-centric mindset by embracing empathy, appreciating the myriad dimensions of creativity, innovation, and change in problem-solving perspectives to develop new ways of thinking that can generate innovative solutions to improve efficiency, quality, productivity, and user satisfaction

The participants were made to do lively exercises in the Masterclass sessions to get into the real spirit of design thinking by experiencing various dimensions. The lead facilitator, Dr. Monoo John, wanted to convey an important reality that people wrongly associate Design thinking with Visual design which involves sketching and drawing rather it is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements to create and generate successful business.

The Lead Facilitator in the Masterclass session led participants through a variety of experiential activities such as

  1. The Empathy experience by observing, engaging, and listening/ Using the Empathy Map to think and feel, Hear, See, Identify Pain Points and Gains.
  2. Define events, challenges, problems, issues, needs, wants, desires, aspirations by understanding patterns, gaining insights, and focusing on pains and gains using the empathy map.
  3. Ideate by translating problems into solutions. Going beyond obvious solutions into problems by leveraging creativity, group synergy, and evaluating ideas through Design thinking approaches to give the imagination a voice.
  4. Prototype hands-on by building to think. A simple, and fast way to shape ideas so one can experience and interact with them. The lead facilitator engaged and involved participants in creating artifacts in low resolution making them sketch and draw and by helping participants to storyboard. They experienced Prototyping by creating a scenario in rough sketches or line drawing which they could role-play in a physical environment and getting others to experience solutions.
  5. Test the idea by asking for feedback on your prototypes. Learn about users, reframe viewpoints and refine prototypes/ iterations by showing them to others, listening to what users have to say, and creating experiences by letting people talk about how they experience it and how they feel.

This focus was apparent across all seven days; the participants were engaged in absorbing immersive activities related to empathy attributes such as people spend a lot of time designing a bridge but not enough time thinking of the people who will cross it. This is where design thinking comes in with the application of empathy and design as the principles to build new things.

The participants also learned about how to apply DT Tools - Empathy Map, Business Model Canvas, Journey Map, Mind Mapping, Visualization, Storytelling Tools, Experiential understanding of Stanford University Design Thinking Framework, and University of Virginia, Darden Design Thinking Framework, how to use design thinking to generate innovative ideas, how to take the many ideas one generates and determine which ones are likely to produce specific, desired outcomes and to prepare to see and take action when the opportunity arises.
The week-long Masterclass session was immensely informative, knowledge gaining, and enriching learning experience.

The session closed with a vote of thanks Dr. Sudarshan S, General Management RTCP Area Chair, and Dr. Uma Warrier, OB & HR Area RTCP Chair provided their valuable insights through a well-done Capstone review. The Masterclass was made possible through the proactive leadership provided by Director, CMS Business School, Dr. Dinesh Nilkant, and Dean Academics, CMS Business School, Dr. Harold Andrew Patrick. Mr. Harsha, Campus Manager, Ms. Rajini B, Administrative Coordinator, Mr. Srinivas, Design Consultant, Mr. Prithviraj, Library In-charge were completely involved at all levels of the Masterclass Sessions from design to registrations, marketing to execution.

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