Design Thinking for a global IT leader

Client Accenture

Client: Accenture Global

Client brief: Train 459,000 employees or 100% of the workforce in design thinking 

Approach: multi layered training program

Duration: 2015 – ongoing

Key results: close to 10,000 employees trained on global level in US, Europe and Asia

Success factors: scalable training approach focused on creating an internal base of facilitators and instructors on the client side

Why Accenture invested in design thinking?

Accenture has historically strong capabilities in IT development and consulting, but in an increasingly digital and technological world, where these capabilities become more and more omnipresent, Accenture wanted to stand out as a true companion in strategic consulting and innovation. Hence they aimed to enhance its capabilities in building specified solutions for clients with the ones required to co-create future innovations with clients, end-users and across Accenture departments. 

As part of this global transformation effort, design thinking was evaluated as one of the key methodologies that has the right tools for deeper understanding of end-users needs and future trends, as well as for co-creation and quick experimentation in cross-disciplinary teams. Accenture made a strategic decision to implement design thinking as a key capability across the entire organization. In 2015, launchlabs Berlin was contacted to run a series of demo trainings, which were deemed a great success and we were selected as a long-term partner for the global implementation of design thinking within Accenture.

The immense scale of the project and how we handled it?

With 459,000 employees in 130 countries around the world, Accenture is one of the world’s leading consulting companies. With their diverse expertise, they support clients in 200 global cities and in more than 40 industries, and all corporate divisions. All of these people – with different cultural and professional backgrounds and daily tasks had to be introduced, inspired and skilled in design thinking. To deliver the results Accenture wanted to achieve, we had to design a very smart training programme that could quickly and efficiently raise awareness about design thinking within the organization and that can prepare skilled internal instructors and facilitators to scale the initiative.

Collectively we designed a multi-layered program that had three main elements:

  • 1 day design thinking introduction for management (DTI)
  • 3 day design thinking academy for employees (DTA)
  • 2 day design thinking for facilitators and instructors (DTFI)

This was supported by online coaching, co-coaching and access to self-learning and knowledge-sharing platforms.

The results: innovation in the DNA

The program has been hugely popular with both management and employees and our trainings consistently receive the highest ratings. The program has allowed innovation to become a central focus in Accenture’s service portfolio. The intensive 3-day academy format has been particularly popular and has contributed to making human centred design and co-creation a way of working within the organization and with clients.

So far, close to 10,000 Accenturites have participated in the program – and the number is still rising. We’ve covered the main hubs in Europe, Asia and USA, but also parts of Africa and South America.

We are in the phase where Accenture has a strong and growing pool of internal facilitators and instructors who are co-running sessions with us and will soon take over the reins.