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Free design thinking workshops urge Yorkshire SMEs to think what could be


Free design thinking workshops urge Yorkshire SMEs to think what could be


"Our world is changing. So savvy businesses are looking for new ways to deliver products and services in order to reap a competitive advantage."
Jonathan Ball



A fully-funded workshop is being held on Wednesday 6 February, to help businesses in the Leeds City Region use design thinking to tackle complex commercial problems and stay ahead of the game.

With 20 places available, the one-day Design For Growth masterclass will empower business leaders to utilise design thinking methodologies, to transform their approach to planning, ideas generation, strategy and customer service.

Aimed at firms who want to trigger significant organisational change with a human-centred approach to innovation, the workshop is the brainchild of design collective What Could Be. This team of four creative minds – with more than 110 years’ combined experience – is made up of Jonathan Ball, David Townson, Darren Evans and Lesley Gulliver.

Whilst the design thinking movement is not new, What Could Be has been at the forefront since 2010. In that time, the team has helped start ups, SMEs, large corporates and public sector organisations across the country widen their design focus to instigate change, innovation and bottom line impact. But now their focus is on supporting local firms as they prepare for what could be the toughest year of the past decade.

“Our world is changing, and fast,” explains Jonathan Ball. “So savvy businesses are looking for new ways to deliver products and services in order to reap a competitive advantage.

“We’re not trying to turn people into designers and the challenges that delegates may face won’t necessarily be overtly design related. But we are trying to demystify the discipline, especially to people who may consider it quite ‘fluffy’.

“Utilising techniques originating from design practice, we’ll show how a practical, creative approach to problem-solving can be applied to a range of contexts. Our one-day immersion workshop will provide intensive training, with guidance on how to apply the discipline to delegates’ current organisational challenges. Everyone will get to use a toolkit of methods, resources and frameworks to enable them to further their design-led innovation with colleagues or clients.”

When asked who the workshop is aimed at, Jonathan added: “We hope to welcome anyone in business with real organisational challenges to address.”

Design For Growth will take place at York Mills, Mirfield, from 10:00-16:00 on Wednesday 6 February. Pre-application is essential, and two hours follow up coaching will also be provided.

Photo credit: rawpixel on unsplash

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