• Today’s nonprofits are experiencing dynamic change that requires continuous innovation to accomplish the mission and sustain the organization.
  • Design thinking is an efficient and effective strategy for engaging people in collaborative innovation.
  • Design thinking can be applied by teams within organizations to improve the quality of products, processes, services, and public policies.
  • Design thinking can be applied across organizations to improve community collaboration and spark system change.
  • Learn more about our approach below, and contact us to learn more about CHS supports for design thinking.

At CHS we apply a proven model to facilitate design thinking for organizations and communities. The model can be applied to create or improve virtually any type of product, process, service, or policy.  This work is accomplished by a team of key stakeholders who work together to optimize design.  CHS can help accelerate this work by facilitating a six-step design process.

  1. Empathize. Understand how users experience the system.
  2. Define. Clarify and specify the system problems to be solved.
  3. Ideate. Generate ideas about system changes that could solve problems for users.
  4. Prototype. Describe one or more prototype solutions in simple formats for rapid review and refinement.
  5. Test. Test and refine prototype solution(s) with system stakeholders.
  6. Implement. Support implementation of viable solutions for system change.

Design thinking can be applied to solve a variety of challenges within your organizational setting, whether it be health care, human services, education, public health, community development, philanthropy, or another setting.  Design thinking is commonly applied to optimize::

  • Service design
  • Customer flow and experience
  • Team workflows and experience
  • Data design and data flow
  • Quality assurance and quality improvement
  • Internal and external communications.

The basic approach is to choose a focus, convene a team, and proceed through the design thinking steps.  CHS can provide facilitation support to help you accelerate and streamline design thinking for your organization. 

Sometime system change is needed to improve access, quality, opportunity, and equity for community members.  The work of system change may require redesign of policies, structures, practices, and funding models.  Design thinking can be applied to help community stakeholders work together to accomplish system change objectives.   The basic approach is to:

  1. Engage a core group of interested community partners.
  2. Define the focus for system change.
  3. Engage members of the population affected by the system as key informants.
  4. Follow the design thinking steps to generate and test ideas for system change.
  5. Advocate for implementing the best system change ideas with key decision makers.
  6. Monitor progress to assure that viable improvements are fully implemented.

CHS can provide facilitation support to help you accelerate and streamline the process of design thinking for system change. 

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