Sharon Boller Co-Authors
Design Thinking Book
Sharon Boller, TiER1 Managing Director, and Laura Fletcher, Program Manager at Salesforce, have co-authored the book Design Thinking for Training and Development: Creating Learning Journeys That Get Results. The book is a guide on applying design thinking techniques to training and performance development.
One of the key benefits of applying design thinking to learning development, Sharon says, is that design thinking starts out by focusing on people rather than problems or solutions. “The talent development industry tends to think first about creating courses and workshops, instead of recognizing learning as a journey that has many steps and stages,” Sharon said. “There is a desperate need to focus on learners first and to adopt a human-centered approach to designing learning in training and development.”
Using their Learning Experience Design (LXD) framework as a guide, Sharon and Laura showcase a variety of tools and techniques, including empathy mapping and persona development, that prioritize the learner experience. These techniques allow developers to deliver an impactful learning experience while also solving for an organizational challenge and producing measurable results.
“At TiER1, we improve organizations through the performance of people. Sharon and Laura’s new book is exciting because it refocuses the learning process on the performer,” said TiER1 CEO Greg Harmeyer. “Applying design thinking principles to Training and Development puts the performer at the center of the experience.”
Sharon and Laura also took into consideration our shifting work environment. They believe that most design-thinking techniques explored in the book can be carried out virtually with tools like Miro, Fun Retro, and Mural – as well as virtual meeting spaces such as Teams or Zoom. They also explained that L&D teams don’t have to overhaul their entire process – design thinking can easily be applied to pre-existing workflows.
“The first time we experimented with design thinking, we invited learners to the design meeting to create an empathy map and persona,” Laura explained. “That was it – no elaborate brainstorming, no prototyping, just extra focus on the learner during design. That mindset of gaining the perspective of the learner is a great place to start.”
You can find out more about Design Thinking for Training and Development here. Want to learn more about applying design thinking to your learning and development efforts? Reach out to start a conversation with Sharon using the Let’s Talk! form below.