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How Business Is Adopting Design Thinking

At GE, P&G, and other companies, a design perspective is a problem-solving apparatus that can be applied companywide

When the best and brightest managers from GE (GE) attend the company's Crotonville learning center in Ossining, N.Y., for the Technical Leadership Development Course, they start by reading a comic book. For many of the handpicked participants, this is their first, uncomfortable encounter with design. They're stretched further over the two-week training as they're asked to decribe their toughest problem in a haiku and draw workflow and patient experience maps.

For Lawrence Murphy, the chief engineer of global design for GE Healthcare who leads the sessions and helped start the program, the goal is to equip employees with new problem-solving tools to help the company evolve to "imagination at work" from its focus on operations efficiency tool Six Sigma.