The Beanstalk Creative Design Thinking Workshop




design thinking workshopWhat is Design Thinking and what do we do at a Design Thinking Workshop?  Design Thinking is essentially an ability that you can acquire as an individual or an organisation to solve a problem or problems for users (of your products and/or services) in a holistic manner that is effective, efficient and intuitive for them!  The purpose of a Design Thinking Workshop is to equip individuals within an organisation with these useful skills of problem-solving.

Listed below are 10 fundamental and foundational skills that you can learn to apply at the three different stages (Tim Brown, the designer who popularised the term “design thinking” used the term “space”) of your product and/or service innovation cycle at our Design Thinking Workshop:


The Inspiration Space is the stage during which you either examine existing products and services for possible improvements and/or prepare for the creation of new products and services.

1) empathy: to experience your products and/or services as a user; to feel what your users feel and to make use of these feelings to critically examine/re-examine your products and services ;

2) observation: to observe the behaviours of different group of users, discover what they do or do not do, understand the circumstances and reasons for their behaviours and to make use of these understandings to critically examine/re-examine your products and services;

3) insights: to appreciate world, demographic, generational, market and technology trends; to learn from the giants of different industries and to make use of these insights to critically examine/re-examine your products and services.


The Ideation Space is the stage during which you generate ideas for your products and services.

4) eliminate self-censorship: to be uninhibited by personal and cultural restraints and to freely share as many ideas as possible without self-censorship;

5) promote an idea-friendly ideation space: to set the stage, both spatially and psychologically, to allow others (other individuals, groups and/or organisations) to freely share as many ideas as possible;

6) challenge existing assumptions: to challenge current and existing assumptions and existing procedures, processes and principles;

7) prototype: to try out immediately and in increasing degrees of sophistication (starting from the most primitive) your ideas through models and/or role-plays.

Note: skill 7) continues to be relevant during the implementation phase of the product and service cycle.


Implementation Space is the stage during which you prepare as well as roll-out your products and services.

7) prototype: to continue to try out your ideas through models, role-plays and pilot schemes;

8) reduce costs: to consistently find the simplest and most cost effective manner to execute your productions and/or services;

9) remove obstacles: to diligently identify and remove each and every obstacle and hurdle obstructing and preventing the smooth execution of your productions and/or services;

10) automate: to remove bureaucracy through appropriate degree of empowerment; to make use of technology (such as IT or ICT technology) to automate where possible the execution or parts of the execution of your productions and/or services.

How do participants learn these 10 skills of Design Thinking?  Skills are developed through taking consistent actions.  A golfer or a tennis player who wants to acquire a particular shot will have to make that shot many many times during practice before it becomes second nature.  Before he or she can take that shot for the very first time, he or she will have to be given the theory or “how to” and then he/she would have to first “act it out” in his/her mind. This thought will have to be preceded by the question “when and how do I make this shot?” in accordance to the theory he/she has learnt.  The golfer may have to survey the terrain, sense the wind direction and strength etc., the tennis player may have to assess the angle and speed at which the ball is coming at him, the position and movement of his opponent etc.  Hence, all skills begin with asking the right questions.  Similarly, Design Thinking skills are acquired by consistently building the habits of design thinking through daily design thinking activities.

The Beanstalk Creative ™ Design Thinking Tools is a set of 70 cards that provides you with 30 “to-Ask”s questions you can ask yourself during the Design Thinking journey and 30 “to-Do”s to help you develop these 10 Skills and habits of Design Thinking.


Below are testimonials from officers of the Singapore Police Force who attended the workshop 20th – 21st Feb 2014:


“I like the cards a lot.  When I sit on the chair with a topic on hand, my mind is blank.  Where are my ideas?  No ideas… I took out a card, suddenly ideas started to flow in.  Well done!  Thanks.”

“The design thinking course managed to change my first impression (of going to [yet another] boring course) into something [that I think was] really beneficial and enjoyable.”

“The design thinking workshop was fun, effective and innovative [in both its] contents and methods”

“I would like to recommend my colleagues to go for this design thinking course …  It changed the way I think [about the approach to] a project.”

“I think design thinking can be introduced to people who are not just going to be involved in WITS (work improvement teams) but to the general workplace.  It is a useful instrument to “shake” things up a bit.  The facilitators were also very personable and I could see their interests and passions in what they do.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the design thinking workshop.  The trainers are accomplished individuals in their respective fields and have a wealth of training experience that they used to accentuate the learning process…”