Design thinking opens the gateway to innovation that solves problems for internal and external stakeholders. Nedbank South Africa discovered this first hand during a Duke Corporate Education program. The bank came up with a number of innovations, such as identifying the pain point of an important customer segment: schools. The design thinking process helped to unearth an inefficient process – parents’ money for the children’s school-related activities was being held in a physical location at the school. Nedbank responded by collaborating with a Edtech start-up on a new app to facilitate financial transactions between parents and school administrators, thus reducing the administrative strain on teachers, improving the payment experience for parents and protecting money that otherwise would have been more vulnerable to theft on the school’s grounds.
“Design thinking helps us to solve problems at a higher level of thinking – it makes you think wider and bigger. We have created an organizational capability through training 45 people in design thinking. Combining people from diverse areas of the bank, with differing perspectives, has meant that we are much more creative. This is a good thing – bankers aren’t renowned for their creativity! Let’s face it, we wouldn’t have come up with these ideas with our usual stiff-collar banker approach!”— Brinsley du Plessis, executive in business banking with Nedbank.
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