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What is design thinking 

Design thinking is a mindset, a people-centric approach, and process for managing innovations, facing challenges, dealing with uncertainty, any ambiguous situation, and is useful when simplifying complex processes.   Design thinkers walk in the shoes of the lives they are seeking to improve.  You can learn or apply design thinking to improve technology solutions, systems, processes, customer experiences, user experiences, learning experiences, and to facilitate the innovation management processes.   When you use design thinking frameworks like 4DLX-Grow, you practice and build capabilities in divergent thinking, empathy, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and communication skills.  You build capabilities to ensure everyone hears and understands all points of view throughout the four-phase framework.


Learn design thinking. 

Strengthen your design thinking skills through our programs and workshops.

 

Do you want to become a design thinking master?

We’re here to help you get there. Our school is designed for people who are looking to learn how to think like designers, and we offer courses in everything from design thinking and innovation management education, workshops, consulting and more. You can even take our courses online or onsite at your company!

Whether you want to improve your own skills or those of the team around you, we have something that will work for everyone. With an experienced faculty of experts in the field of design thinking and innovation management education, we know what it takes to make real change happen – fast. And with flexible options including online classes as well as onsite training at your company location, Leadingrowth has got what it takes for any schedule. Let us show you how easy it is!

 

Agile processes + 100s of tools 

Design thinkers figuratively carry a 200+ toolkit  which is what gives the 4DLX-Grow framework its flexibility.  Many of the tools are similar to those used in agile processes.  Within each phase are a number of tools to select from, and the experienced design thinker will have the knowledge and experience to know which tool to select, and how to use it best.  Each challenge may require a separate set(s) of tools.  What makes design thinking exciting, is the challenge of learning which tools work best, because it is not an exact science, which is why the learning and experience loops are so important. Experienced design thinkers look for new ways to use the same tools, update existing tools, and teach others how to use the tools.  As design thinkers go through a challenge using the learning and experience loops, they update their knowledge, as well as their growth mindsets.  Design thinkers relish challenges and the opportunity to solve complex problems.  Design thinkers are lifelong learners, and embrace uncertainty, as design thinking is a mindset, as much as it is an approach and a process.

 

4DLX-Grow is a flexible people centric framework that guides you from idea to impact

Leadingrowth uses the 4DLX-Grow, a people-centric design thinking framework to help leaders re-imagine tomorrow’s  outcomes, whether that is the development of new software, new AI powered games, new tech,  new fashion solutions, new healthy or functional food solutions, new circular economy solutions, or developing a 2050 plan, where we work backwards developing the solutions needed for tomorrow.  4DLX-Grow is a simple four phase framework that is people-focused, and assists leaders with managing their innovations, continuous improvements, and changes required to meet the demands of tomorrow.

 

Helps when facing complex challenges 

Design thinking is of value when leaders are facing complex challenges.  In complexity there are many contributing factors, potentially a range of mitigating circumstances and influential forces in which there is no control.  Often there is little understanding of the extent to which these circumstances and forces are contributing to the complexity of the challenge.  Through the four-phase framework, such as 4DLX-Grow, and the large toolkit,  leaders can apply design thinking learnings to embrace complex challenges, consider stakeholders, and the first and second order effects of decisions on people and the relevant stakeholders.

 

It's like putting on a superhero's cape

When used routinely users of design thinking find it improves their growth mindsets, upskills their creativeness, improves their innovative management skillsets, and empowers and uplifts their teams.  There is no thinking where I begin, or what should I do first.  The framework provides a guide.  When used routinely and with regularity, its users  find it’s like putting on a superhero’s cape, as it installs a superpower of confidence in its users that they will solve complex challenges and find solutions.  With regular use 4DLX-Grow Framework becomes a habit, exploring “the right” problems, as the framework helps people to sift the symptoms to identify the problem.   The four-phase framework comes with a toolbox of templates, maps, and tools that leaders and growth champions can use to improve, and co-create with their teams, as they innovate, change, and improve the world in which we live.

 
 

Learn to influence 

Design thinking is a powerful innovation process, but most people don't know about it or how to use it.

Design thinking is one of the best ways to solve problems and create new products and services that your customers will love. But there are so many different tools! Which ones should you use? Where can you learn them all? Who can help you get started with design thinking in your business or organization?

That's where we come in! We're an international team of experts who teach design thinking, innovation management, creativity & leadership skills through workshops, training courses and consulting projects. Our mission is to help everyone make better decisions faster by teaching them how to apply design thinking principles in their day-to-day work. We've been doing this for more than 10 years now - let us show you what we've learned from our experience working with over 5000 leaders in  Universities, Government Departments, Agribusinesses, Circular Economy, Digital Creatives, Digital SMEs, Entrepreneurs and others...

 

RESPOND QUICKER TO CHANGE

through 4DLX-Grow and design thinking

With our structured approach we help leaders enhance their empathy skills.  We help leaders with tools so they can enhance the way they see other viewpoints, actively listen, listen to understand, be curious, empathize with people, and learn to ask questions like, “how can we?” or "tell me more"


Leaders often find themselves in new situations with new challenges that have no past (e.g. Covid).  Therefore, it is flawed to extrapolate history to unfamiliar problems and use old frameworks that have worked well in the past.  


We help leaders respond quicker with change, because too many enterprises aren’t responding to change quick enough, even when they recognise the need to rapidly transform in a fast-changing environment.  Leaders tell us they need help with building their empathy capacity so they can improve how they respond. 


Too often, leaders find themselves caught in a web of “this is how we do things”,  within that web are expensive technologies, processes, systems, brand portfolios, products, and business silos that don’t interweave well together.  Unravelling it all can seem too much. Understanding everyone's perspective can help with effective decision making. 

 
 

STRENGTHEN YOU

4DLX-Grow helps you design tomorrow

4DLX-Grow is a guide that strengthens the ways that humans work together, empathize with each other, understand culture and value in various contexts, cooperate, collaborate, and find solutions that are desired and wanted.

As well as being a guide, its an approach.  When we look at the high-valued brands (Companies) such as Apple, Amazon, Samsung, BMW, IBM, they are designing human-centric solutions.  The solutions come first.  They work out how to apply the technology, and how to adjust the processes and systems to improve the human experience and make the solution work.  The how comes after the why. This is design thinking in action. 


4DLX-Grow is a design thinking framework, philosophy and application that helps empower people to understand the best ways to work.  This may including learning how to unravel some of the complex systems, and simplify them so they are people friendly, easy to understand and use. 


4DLX-Grow helps leaders to embrace and apply skills that make us human,  you know those skills that are hard for machines to learn.  When leaders use 4DLX-Grow, people in the team are encouraged to improve how we hear one another, to listen what others have to say, to be curious about other people, understand and empathize with others, and to embrace creativity together.

Applying 4DLX-Grow incorporates mental models, decision making, data, tools, guidelines, processes and approaches within the multidisciplinary fields of the data sciences, social sciences, economics, marketing, people development, branding, engineering, and design.  

 

SOLVE CHALLENGES

4DLX-Grow helps leaders

  • engage in rapid prototyping and learning

  • immersive learning & seizing opportunities  

  • Design thinking it's learnt by doing 

  • improve organic growth

  • improve revenue streams

  • streamline revenue steps

  • reduce risk on new offerings 

  • navigate uncertainty & ambiguity 

  • build a brand as a valuable asset 

  • bring desirable products to market 

  • increase customer value 

  • adapting to changing markets  

  • move from commodities to building brands 

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LEAD IN GROWTH

4DLX-Grow focuses on improvement, like finding better ways of improving the customer experience,  or delivering faster and superior go to market strategies, and systems that support those go-to-market strategies. 


4DLX-Grow is action-oriented, each of the four phases, discover, define, design and deliver are action words that identify the objectives and  initiative-taking steps that underpins innovation and business growth. Through the learning and experience loops, the interdisciplinary design thinking team learn and improve how they navigate uncertainty, problem solve, and bring innovative solutions to market that strengthen the brand, grow the brand, and bring desirable solutions to customers in the right place, at the right time, and in the right ways.


Applying 4DLX-Grow helps teams to strengthen human-centered high-value relationships with each other and with all of the people in the supply chain. Strong healthy relationships help to deliver a competitive advantage, one that is difficult for competitors to replicate. Grow with your people. 

 

AGILE AND NIMBLE

Agile, 4DLX-Grow and design thinking are useful when there are high degrees of uncertainty.  Agile looks at several ways to deliver solutions.  4DLX-Grow and design thinking seek take agile to another level because these approaches seek to understand the environment from various stakeholder perspectives, so when defining the problem, all of the viewpoints are known before looking for multiple ways to deliver solutions.  


4DLX-Grow and design thinking look to see if there is actually a problem.  Agile is responsive project management method for solving predefined problems in a changing environment.  Agile, 4DLX-Grow and design thinking have several iterations, which continually evolve through the cycle of continuous improvement. 


Agile, 4DLX-Grow and design thinking consider the human users.  4DLX-Grow and design thinking takes thinking about humans a step further. Design thinking encourages the diverse viewpoints from all human stakeholders, to seek to understand the perspectives of partners, shareholders, suppliers, customers, users, board members, investors, contractors, Government, employees, Trade Unions, Interest groups, NGOs, Sponsors, Regulators, and communities. 4DLX-Grow considers all of the humans in the ecosystems.

 

HELPING LEADERS

4DLX-Grow is a mindset and an approach to solving problems.  The people-centricity of 4DLX-Grow and its clear mandate to promote diversity and new ways of looking at things, helps leaders to strengthen their empathy, listening, curiosity, and people skills.  


Leaders find through regular use of 4DLX-Grow they are more comfortable with change. Some leaders told us it is a little like putting on a super hero's cape, as using the 4DLX-Grow framework helps to embrace uncertainty with confidence.  4DLX-Grow helps leaders be confident and comfortable working with unknowns and navigate effectively through stormy waters and rough seas.


Through the application of 4DLX-Grow, leaders find themselves letting go of limitations and dogmas that hold them back from challenging the status quo.  Leaders cope better with risks. 4DLX-Grow helps leaders to take measured risks and learn from many small failures.  These learning experiences help leaders to reduce risks through structured creativity, and by considering all of the factors and people with their unique perspectives within the ecosystem, supply chain, and markets when growing the business.


Leaders create tangible outcomes from little information.  They don’t rely on the past, instead they create the future. Leaders are confident and comfortable with uncertainty and change. The structured creative process, the tools, and the learning and experience loops help leaders to enhance their growth mindsets, raise and empower their team with confidence to they are productive and happier.


Leaders improve their curiosity, they strengthen their creativity and imagination, which helps them to improve their foresight skills.  They are visionary, forward thinking and forward moving leaders that inspire people to move with them into the future. Use 4DLX-Grow to create your blue ocean.

 
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CREATE YOUR BLUE OCEAN

 

FUTURE PLAN

in an uncertain world

We work with leaders who are looking to create a new tomorrow.

4DLX-Grow is a framework that can help leaders create solutions for 2030, 2040 & 2050, because there is a high likelihood the products of today won't be needed tomorrow. 


It's not just the products that won't be around, it is the systems and processes, because automation, no coding solutions, Machine Learning and AI will be mainstream.  

4DLX-Grow helps leaders reimagine the needs for new systems, processes, workflows, revenue streams, customer acquisition models, products, services and business models.  

 

ADDRESS VUCA

Volatility in markets is increasing as technology impacts and changes how we operate, make decisions, consume, interact, and buy.


Uncertainty is increasing, and predicting tomorrow's trends is getting harder.  The need to reduce complexity and create simpler solutions is intensifying and so is the ambiguity we face. 


Leaders tell us they are looking for a structured framework that provides them with flexibility, that is easy to use, and to implement across a range of different scenarios, and industries, which is why we tested 4DLX-Grow with over 5000 leaders across more than eight different industries.


Leaders say having a simple framework to guide them as they bridge the divide between today and tomorrow is why 4DLX-Grow is useful, they tell us using 4DLX-Grow is like putting on a super hero's cape. 

 

STRENGTHEN TEAMS

4DLX-Grow tools and processes help structure cohesive team interactions to cultivate greater inclusiveness, foster creativity, deepen empathy, and align diverse groups of people around specific goals and results.


4DLX-Grow is a design thinking approach relying on teams that frequently interact, ask questions, listen, learn, empathize, celebrate wins, take the learnings from losses, enhance collaborative creativity, use maps, templates, and tools to communicate, learn, and embrace ambiguity, as together they strive to achieve goals that only cooperation brings, where the sum of individual talents is greater combined.

 

LIFELONG LEARNING

You learn the process
You learn tools
You learn how to apply the tools
You learn how to apply tools across different situations
You learn how to critically evaluate the tools so you know which tool to select, and when.
You learn that different situations require different tools.
You learn to build your own toolbox.
You learn to strengthen your mindset and gain confidence by using the tools.
You learn that some tools can help you to strengthen your mindset
You learn through storytelling and scenarios

 

HOW WE HELP YOU

build tomorrow's solutions

We listen to leaders, hear their goals, concerns, and struggles, we ask questions to understand what is going on and what they need, then we discuss ways in which we can help them reshape tomorrow. 


Leaders use our business growth services,  or undertake our programs, courses or workshops to learn about 4DLX-Grow or various aspects of the framework.


4DLX-Grow is a simple four phase framework that underneath houses an array of tools, templates, roadmaps, ways of dealing with challenges, and helping people move forward happier, and faster. What we do is show leaders how to use 4DLX-Grow so they can pursue their dreams & build a better tomorrow.

Through 12-years of research with over 5000 leaders 4DLX-Grow was born. The simplicity of the framework means that it helps leaders navigate simple and complex problems in known and unknown situations. Leaders who focus on tomorrow and the challenges with reshaping what tomorrow looks like, are the leaders who get the most out of 4DLX-Grow. 


Leaders tell us using 4DLX-Grow on a regular basis is like putting on a superhero's cape, as the guidelines and the tools help leaders navigate complex issues, audacious problems, uncertainty, and deal with a range of issues big and small. Using 4DLX-Grow helps leaders strengthen confidence in the way they lead their teams through innovation and re-imagining tomorrow's business. 


We help leaders grow, strengthen and/or build human-centered brands and businesses through design thinking, innovation management, leadership, strategic management and luxury branding strategies.

 

4DLX-GROW

Move faster and with happier people

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WHO WE HELP

users of 4DLX-Grow

Some of the leaders we help are industry leaders, Government leaders, others are CEOs, board members, executives, leaders of a business unit, customer experience, innovation, or product development team.

Some of our leaders are looking to learn the entire 4DLX-Grow Framework and processes. Other leaders are looking to strengthen areas within the framework.


Leaders can look up aspects of the framework from a variety of sources online and get overwhelmed with information or they can come to us for help.  We note most online information focuses on phase three of the process. Some of these frameworks have four, five or six steps, involving ideas, prototypes, test them, and validating them. All of these steps are within the third phase of our holistic framework.  


What we do differently, we identify what you need, if necessary, we take leaders through the four phases of the framework, which includes the two crucial elements that often get missed and can be the difference between success and failure. 


We help you undertake the "DISCOVER" phase and the "DELIVER" phases, which focus on discovering the "right" problem and successfully implementing the solution that people desire and delivers value to them. We help you brand the solution so that when it is implemented it is easy to share and talk about in your presentations to the board, directors, or with relevant stakeholders.

 

for leaders, teams & enterprises seeking growth

Build tomorrow
Solve wicked problems 
Navigate VUCA
Human-centered design thinking process
Holistic framework includes mindset, servant leadership, implementation & branding

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DISCOVER

The first phase is Discover.  Teams engage in divergent thinking to help them gain new insights and learn different viewpoints.  The idea is to select from a variety of empathy or research tools in the toolbox.  Through experience and learning loops to use as many as needed to understand with as many eyes and ears as possible the context so that symptoms can be separated from problems.

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DEFINE

The second phase is Define.  Teams engage in convergent thinking, as they synthesize, group, theme, and categorize insights and learnings into maps and canvases to share with decision-makers.  From these visual tools and discussions, a way  forward is defined.  The way forward becomes the guiding light and shared vision that  guides the team.

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DESIGN

The third phase is  Design.  This starts with the shared vision.  Divergence is key exploring multiple pathways The idea is to design solutions aligning with the shared vision and the business values.  This phase takes into account generating ideas, ideation, and idea refinement, prototyping, testing, and validation.  The team learn through successive attempts, as they navigate through the learning & experience loops.

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DELIVER

The fourth and final phase is Deliver.  Convergence is key as the focus is on implementation, delivering value, branding the solution, communications, and acceptance of the idea, which includes internal and external marketing strategy & communications.