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Applying Design-Thinking in Learning & Development

learning & development design thinking

Learning & development needs the creative edge that design-thinking can provide

Do you remember the five pillars of design-thinking we dove into previously? With each stage being applied to L&D purposes. You might still be wondering what is it about this methodology that works so well for learning & development.

Well, there are some great advantages to using design-thinking in L&D. Here we will highlight four:

1 | A human-centered approach

Before putting the matter of theoretical learning first, design-thinking allows us to put the employee, customer or client first before the theory and any previous experiences. The five pillars of design-thinking allow you to draw on raw data to improve processes. This data comes from the very people you are designing the L&D programme for, whether it be in a meeting or an event format.

This guarantees a well-thought-out solution to a learning need for your specific corporation, client base and employee persona(s).

It also guarantees a clearer understanding of your own specific organisational problem.

2 | Provides a basis to continuously develop, test and improve

The 5 pillars of design-thinking involve the continuous development of the learning system you are creating, with rigorous prototyping and testing to improve upon each layer. Followed through until you have a completed training programme that works for your organisation.

3 | 21st Century Solutions

Design-thinking is current within this era and generation. It puts forth a 21st century way of approaching rising challenges within each industry. And it’s an excuse to move away from traditional models of formal training, to give rise to more immersive and substantial ways of learning and developing skills – suitable for your employees’ unique skill sets.

4 | Bypass bias filters

Over time, we tend to develop certain bias filters to what works and what doesn’t. The saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” exists for a reason. However, who is to say you can see the break when it might be a fracture.

Filters can often hold us back from realising something greater, especially when it comes to L&D. Design-thinking forces us to really look at the challenge through a new (data-lead) lens. Stepping away from our bias creates room to find solutions that are learner driven and business focused.

Interested in discovering what more you can do with design-thinking? We can help you use this methodology in your event strategy. 

Visit our website to see what we can do for you and contact Max FellowsMCI Experience’s Director of Client Services, at


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