The Design Thinking Workbook: Essential Skills for Creativity and Business Growth

ISBN: 978-1-80382-192-4, eISBN: 978-1-80382-189-4

Publication date: 19 October 2022


Meadows, C. and Parikh, C. (2022), "Prelims", The Design Thinking Workbook: Essential Skills for Creativity and Business Growth, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xvi.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 CJ Meadows and Charvi Parikh

Half Title Page


Endorsement Page


A must-have quick reference for innovators across the globe! As a designer, I’m impressed with this intriguing, excellently scripted collection of carefully-crafted modules. It’s thorough and worthwhile. Introducing skills and techniques before the DT process was a master stroke.

Jimmy Mistry, Designer, Hotelier, and Founder of Della Leaders Club

This book should be required reading for every start-up founder! It’s the skillset and toolbox to find a compelling need and design an offering 10X better than anyone else’s. ‘No wonder new ventures with designers in the leadership team succeed better and attract more funding than their peers.

Puneet Pushkarna, Venture Capitalist at Solmark | Chairman of Innoveo and Servion Global Solutions

This is a great toolkit! ‘A thorough and practical book that will help guide you through the methods, tools and practice of design thinking for those unfamiliar or in need of a boost to help solve today’s wicked problems.

Pete Overy, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Agency Singapore

Creativity and good design are cornerstones of the Future of Work. This book is a super-tool for building your skills in both and making yourself future-ready.

Dr. Shalini Lal, Founder and Future-of-Work Designer, Unqbe

What a clever and innovative way to help people learn Design Thinking! This multimedia toolbox will inspire and help you develop new skills, especially creative problem-solving, and connect you with the wider online community.

Brian Ling, Founder and Design Director, Design Sojourn

Title Page



CJ Meadows


Charvi Parikh

United Kingdom – North America – Japan India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2022

Copyright © 2022 CJ Meadows and Charvi Parikh.

Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited.

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No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters’ suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-80382-192-4 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80382-189-4 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80382-191-7 (Epub)


List of Figures and Tables ix
Digital Resources xi
About the Authors xiii
Acknowledgements and Why We Wrote This Book xv
Tools, Techniques,& Story Pages “Your Turn” Worksheet Pages
Chapter 1: Design Thinking and YOU
Introduction 3
Teachers and Facilitators: How to Use this Book for Class, Corporate Workshops, and Incubators/Accelerators 8
Business Value (Why DT?) 21
Situations For and Not-for DT 24
Advantages and Limitations 27
DT Methodologies 30
Daylight 31
IBM 32
Stanford 33
Our Approach 35
Chapter 2: Foundational Skills
Empathy 38
Cognitive Empathy 40 42
Emotional Empathy 45 47
Active Empathy 49 51
Observing 53 55
Listening 58 62
To Respond Versus To Understand 59
Active Listening 60
Silence as a Prompt 60 62
Critical Thinking 64 67
Insight 69 70
Creativity 73 77
Collaboration 79 83
Storytelling 86 91
Chapter 3: Tools and Techniques
Diverse Teams 96 100
Storywording 103 105
Stakeholder Map 106 110
POV 112 115
Diverge–Converge 116 118
Affinity Diagram 119 122
Dotversation 123 125
Challenge Map 127 129
Extremes 131 134
Analogies 136 140
Ethnographic Tools 143 148
Interview Protocol 150 152
Interview Methods 154 157
Desire Paths, Workarounds, and Repurposing 160 162
Five Whys 165 168
Why–How Laddering 169 172
Persona 173 177
Empathy Map 178 182
Journey Map 183 189
HMW 192 195
Hill Statements 197 199
Better Brainstorming 200 203
SCAMPER 205 209
Mind Map 211 213
Low Fidelity and High Fidelity 214 217
Prototype Techniques 219 221
Storyboarding 224 227
Experiment Design 228 231
Desirable, Feasible, and Viable 233 236
Chapter 4: Process
Challenge 242 247
Observe 251 253
Understand 257 259
Envision 263 266
Solve 269 272
Prototype 275 278
Sometimes: Looping Back 282
Chapter 5: Your Challenge, Start to Finish
Challenge – Your Turn 286
Observe – Your Turn 287
Understand – Your Turn 288
Envision – Your Turn 289
Solve – Your Turn 290
Prototype – Your Turn 291
Chapter 6: Next Steps
Next Steps – Your Turn 295
Chapter 7: Design Thinker’s Diary 297
References 303
Index 309

List of Figures and Tables


Fig. 1. Daylight’s Approach 31
Fig. 2. IBM’s Approach 31
Fig. 3. Stanford Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the’s Traditional Approach 32
Fig. 4. Stanford Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the’s New Eight-Abilities Approach 33
Fig. 5. IDEO’s Approach and Team Experience 34
Fig. 6. Our Approach 34


Table 1. Famous Products: Their Original and Repurposed Uses 163
Table 2. Steps and Touchpoints 186
Table 3. Touchpoints, Emotions, and Feelings 186
Table 4. Feelings and Opportunities 187
Table 5. SCAMPER Elements and Questions 207
Table 6. SCAMPER Product/Service Examples 208

Digital Resources

To make this workbook more useful for eBook readers and for physical-book readers who want to collaborate with others online, we’ve put the “Your Turn” worksheets on our favorite co-creation platform, MURAL. Links are listed on the book webpage (about half-way down the page) at Just scroll through the worksheets (called “templates” on MURAL), click on the one you want, and you’ll surf over to that worksheet/template on MURAL.

On the book webpage, you’ll also find a link to the free multimedia introduction to Design Thinking, hosted by Gnowbe. In the Design Thinking Intro, you can watch instructional videos, do exercises, and connect with a community of beginning Design Thinkers who are also spreading their wings and trying it out – just like you!

The book website also hosts our favorite workshop-warmup videos, recommended readings, and organizations you can check out, to learn more or gain experience honing your skills. One of these is ExperiencePoint, which offers the ExperienceInnovation™ simulation-based workshops. It’s a great next step to continue your learning journey after you’ve been through this workbook.

That’s all for now, except to say …

Happy Surfing!

About the Authors

CJ Meadows leads i2e, The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at S. P. Jain School of Global Management, creating growth initiatives at the intersection of IT, business strategy, and design. Her research, consulting, and coaching focus on leadership and creativity. She co-founded an Advanced Technology Think Tank and Tinker Lab, envisioning the future of work and education. She holds a Doctorate in Business Administration and IT from Harvard Business School and has over 20 years’ experience in Asia, Europe, and North America as a consultant, coach, entrepreneur, eBusiness builder, innovation lab co-founder, and Accenture IT and Business Strategy Consultant.

Charvi Parikh is an innovator at the intersection of education, corporate, and social sectors. A consultant and evangelist for lifelong learning, she holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, having researched design thinking and education for future-ready skills. She has lived and worked in India, Europe, and North America and has over 20 years of professional experience across IT companies and educational/research institutes. A lateral thinker by nature, she continues to facilitate twenty-first century skills building in her teaching and consulting practices.

Acknowledgements and Why We Wrote This Book

My first thanks, as always, is to God. My writing begins with prayer – to share whatever message He has for you readers, to improve your lives, and to create good in the world. Our best selves and best creations begin with Him. I also thank my patient husband and children, Chris, Jonathan, Anna, David, and Sarah Marshall, as well as my brother, Nishi Mukerji, for their support and quiet-time while I hide under my “do not disturb” headset and write. Thank you, Gisela Cabalang, for shouldering all sorts of domestic duties so I have the time and energy to craft books. Thank you, Nitish Jain and the S. P. Jain School of Global Management for fully supporting me with time and resources to write books like this. I pray these works will be useful to the school, students, and corporate community. I thank Sonali Hingorani, Radhika Rathi, and the whole marketing team for helping people access these ideas and tools. Thank you, Charvi, for being a fantastic co-author. I couldn’t have asked for better! Thank you, Nick Wallwork and Chris Newson at NewsonWallwork, the best book agents ever. Thank you, Charlotte Maiorana, Pavithra Muthu, Kirsty Woods, and the whole team at Emerald Group Publishing. You’re an awesome group to work with. Thank you MURAL, ExperiencePoint, and Gnowbe (especially Gnowbe Founder and CEO So-Young Kang) for providing platforms and co-marketing so this book can be a multimedia work that serves its audience better than paper-only – and so it’ll reach a broader audience than any one of us could reach and serve, alone. Thank you to everyone I haven’t named who contributed to this book with your ideas and work. We never create from nothing. We always stand on the shoulders of giants and build with the bricks others have made. Thank you, readers, for your interest to create more good in the world with design thinking (DT). I pray these thoughts and tools will help. I look forward to seeing your creations.

Why did we write this book? Actually, Charvi started it. (Do I sound like my kids, now?) While working on her doctorate on methods to introduce DT to schoolchildren in deprived neighborhoods of India as a jumpstart to economic growth, Charvi realized there were certain skills they lacked, which made DT hard for them to learn. She wrote about these “foundational skills” in her thesis and recommended that in any context – business or more broadly societal – that these skills must be established first, then DT as a process introduced, in order to achieve DT success. That’s why this book introduces skills and techniques before the DT process.

Instead of running around the world teaching skills, we thought it would be more impactful to share skills-building materials people can use on their own (or in groups), along with our favorite DT stories and success tips based on our decades-long study and experience with this approach to innovation.

Whether you learn and practice on your own or with a team, physically or online, we wish you well and would love for you to reach out and share with us the wonderful things you create with this toolset and approach. Blessings.

– Dr CJ Meadows

I’d first like to thank the first author of this book, Dr CJ Meadows, for kickstarting my journey as a design thinker. I might call her CJ now on her insistence, but she will forever remain Dr. Meadows, my guide, in my mind. There is so much more to learn from her. I’d also like to thank my husband Uday for being a resounding soundboard, daughter Marisha for showing me the world from a different lens, and son Avi for grooming me to stay relevant in this century. The most gratitude from my heart goes to the bunch of enthusiastic, creative students who taught me more than I taught them! You are the promise of a better future. Thank you for reminding us in this generation to keep improving. Thank you, Nick Wallwork and Chris Newson at NewsonWallwork, for believing in us. A very special thank you to the whole team at Emerald Publishing for giving us a platform to spread design thinking (DT).

We wrote this book about DT to help our readers become design thinkers. DT can be learned quickly, and just reading about it will provide some awareness and understanding. However, becoming a design thinker requires much more effort. It takes time to internalize skills and apply a DT process appropriately. As the proverb says, “Practice makes perfect.” So, what better way than a workbook approach for developing design thinkers? We hope you enjoy learning, practicing, and perfecting your DT skills as much as we enjoyed writing about it.

– Dr Charvi Parikh