Nicole Dessain is the Founder and Chief Employee Experience Designer at Talent.Imperative Inc, an employee experience design company. During her 19-year career in human resources, Nicole discovered design thinking while collaborating on a client project. She became a student of the method and got certified by IDEO U and LUMA Institute and is now a SESP Lecturer at Northwestern University’s Masters in Learning and Organizational Change Program which explores how design thinking might be applied to innovation in organizational effectiveness. Nicole runs her own podcast, Talent Tales, where she features leaders who have pioneered design thinking in the field of Human Resources.

Time Codes

(3:03) – What is Talent Imperative and what do you do?
(3:39) – What drew you to this work?
(4:20) – Design Thinking
(7:48) – What is the process for Design Thinking?
(10:35) – Assessing and redefining a problem in Design Thinking
(16:04) – Thinking of feedback as data
(18:35) – How do you foster the right kind of teamwork going into a Design Thinking project?(21:02) – How do you prime people to get on the same page?
(24:46) – The tools people in use in ideation of Design Thinking
(27:26) – “Prototyping is NOT piloting”
(33:22) – Slowing down is actually speeding up aka Change management 2.0
(34:15) – How long does it take for someone to become effective in using these skills?
(40:38) – Defining a human experience mindset
(41:57) – What have you learned about people in the last 6 years?
(43:04) – What does it mean to treat someone as an adult?
(44:55) – What are some common mistakes beginners fall victim to when they venture into Design Thinking?
(47:10) – What are the misconceptions about Design Thinking?
(48:02) – Do you have an example of a group that was apprehensive toward Design Thinking but ended up responding very well to it?
(51:52) – Improv & Storytelling
(55:28) – What are you sick of talking about?
(56:55) – What is the purpose of business?
(58:17) – How can people get in touch with you?