In this episode, we talk to Martin Cheetham, co-owner of Tenaka, about how design thinking has been incorporated into large organisations, as well as the definition and interpretation of design thinking.

Martin’s background is firmly rooted in graphic design – as a kid, he wanted to be a cartoonist when he grew up. His was a natural progression to the design thinking arena when he realised that a lot of the work being done was missing the human element of understanding who you are designing for.

We touch on how design education has changed over the years, and how this needs to change even more: we need to incorporate design thinking at the early stages to ensure that children are equipped for the future of work. We also explore the current view of design thinking at large in South Africa, where its value is not fully recognised and where it is often associated with the more traditional terms of design, such as visual design.

Martin opines on what it will take for management of large corporations to see the value of design thinking and placing the customers you are solving for front and centre, as well as why they might not yet be seeing the value.

We discuss how the employee experience is being customised – or not, in many cases – and the benefit for large organisations of investing time and money in understanding what their customers want and need.

In closing, Martin shares how vital it is to not have a predetermined solution in mind, but rather to solve the real problem the customer is experiencing: a deep understanding of your customer is the only way you will survive in the future.

If you are unfamiliar with design thinking, listen to episode 1, where we discuss the methods and mindsets of design thinking and clear up some of the terminology.