Design thinking for business impact with Novartis Data & Digital

How Board of Innovation built a Design Thinking Community of Practice at Novartis

Board of Innovation ran a 2+ year collaboration with Novartis’ Data & Digital Team to apply Design Thinking methodology for business impact.

Novartis, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, is driven by innovation and customer centricity. They reached out to Board of Innovation to help build and leverage their Data & Digital teams’ Design Thinking capabilities.
The goal: to build a patient-centric community of practice.

Challenge

Defining and creating the future of digital solutions at Novartis

Novartis’ Data & Digital teams define and develop the company’s future digital portfolio. Therefore, understanding patient and doctor needs is key to unlocking the full potential.  

The business chose to instil both the principles and tools of Design Thinking to its employees. This would empower the team to stay customer and problem-centric.

Approach

A 2+ years impactful collaboration

Once the challenge and the goal were clear, Board of Innovation outlined a long-term strategy to support the team in its efforts.

To create a common language and set of tools, we organized a global series of advanced workshops, sprints, and train-the-trainers. Our goal was to properly embed human-centered and problem-solving capabilities into the teams.

Participants were invited to share a business challenge that they were wrestling with, which was relevant to Design Thinking. Once they had completed the training, participants walked out with plans to apply customer empathy, co-created solutions, and experiment designs to validate assumptions.

Partnering with the BOI was critical to build internal capabilities around Design Thinking. Learning by doing approach helped project teams to apply design thinking principles and address business challenges in user-centric manner

Malcolm Martiatu Franco, Data & Digital Capability Build Head at Novartis

Results

A community of practice
with business impact

Upon completion, we looked back on a great collaboration and tangible results:

  • 150+ associates trained in Design Thinking
  • 10 advanced trainers embedded in the business
  • 20+ Novartis business ideas ideated and iterated
  • Interactive Novartis Design Thinking playbook in place and scaled across the business
  • Powerful combination of both in-person and virtual trainings and sprints

Today, the community of practice created at Novartis continues to play a vital role and have concrete business impact through Design Thinking. It’s members facilitate workshops, support a range of business teams with diverse challenges, and help them make decisions in a more patient-centric way.

On this project

Bryan Berger

Bryan Berger

Life Science Lead
& Innovation Strategist

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