9 August 2013
Jesse Grimes
Jesse Grimes

Design thinking in action

As a means towards innovation and customer-centricity, “design thinking” is lauded as a technique to infuse creativity throughout an organization. We know it’s being taught to future business leaders at places like Stanford’s d.school, but how’s it being applied in the real world? Global enterprise services leader Citrix provides an interesting example.

With $2+ billion in revenue last year and 100+ million users globally, Citrix is a giant among digital service providers. In 2009, the CEO tasked¬†Catherine Courage with bringing a design approach to the traditionally engineering-led organization. In his belief, “…in addition to traditional means of growth, his company‚Äôs success in exceeding the $2 billion mark would depend heavily on its ability to focus on improving the end-to-end user experience of its products, services, and partnerships.”

Following a stint at Stanford University’s d.school, Courage felt confident to take on the mammoth task. What followed was a multi-year effort, which has successfully disseminated design thinking far and wide within the organization.

In a post outlining this transformation, she goes through the step-by-step process, offering a practical approach to those wishing to do the same in other organizations. From engaging executives and widely teaching basic design principles, to setting up dedicated design studios and educating design “Catalysts” throughout the company, it is clear that a significant effort has taken place – and continues through today. And through showing black-and-white numbers and other measures of success (4,000+ employees have undergone design training, product awards and media and academic interest), it’s clear that this effort was well-spent.

Source: “Reweaving Corporate DNA: Building a Culture of Design Thinking at Citrix” (Catherine Courage)

See also: Catherine’s TEDx presentation


Culture (9), Customer experience (78), Design thinking (16), UX management (13)

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