In 2007, top management of hearing aid manufacturer Oticon boldly established a working group dedicated to a rather new and odd thing called design thinking. Three years later, the group was dissolved. This is the story of a tragic misunderstanding and untapped potential.
Design thinking has often-times been described as an empathic approach. Leonards and Rayports classic “Empathic Design” is a close relative of this thought: How might we find out what people themselves do not know? At GE Healthcare empathy was needed to understand how children experience CT, X-Ray and MRI scanning procedures.
Derdack was looking for ways to address their users’ needs in a more structured and systemic way. They had no idea that starting their first design thinking project would not only change their customer’s “wake up experience” but also their corporate culture as a whole.