Deloitte Summer Associates Dive into Design

Doblin Chicago helps Deloitte's MBA Summer Associates approach problems in new ways through an immersive Concept Development workshop.

As part of the Strategy Consulting practice within Deloitte, Doblin has the opportunity to share design thinking methodologies with our Deloitte colleagues. Throughout the year we host immersive Concept Development workshops during which participants work through a real business challenge simulation.

Recently, we ran this session at our Chicago workshop for more than 20 MBA students who are currently Summer Associates with Deloitte. Participants brought a lot to the workshop: diverse perspectives from past work experiences, a strong business and analytical lens, and an enthusiasm for the content. Recognizing the importance of design thinking and the value it can bring to leading corporations, many of their MBA programs offer concentrations, classes, and even dual MBA/MS in Design degrees.

In advance of the session, participants read a project briefing, but were encouraged not to come to the session with any solutions prepared. In accordance with design thinking, solutions can only be developed once participants truly understand the problem and uncover the needs of end users, a key principal and central focus of the session.

As MBAs and business professionals in general, we tend to jump from problem to solution and forget to take the time to be sure we are solving for the right problem and addressing the right customer needs. The workshop shifted our mindsets from solving for a detailed problem to actually uncovering the true problem.

– Michelle DiMattia, MBA candidate at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Participants worked through the business challenge by exploring end-user needs, synthesizing insights, generating robust innovation concepts, and building a business pitch for their concepts. Doblin facilitators guided participants through this disciplined approach and coached participants on Doblin tools and frameworks, such as the Ten Types of Innovation®. Deloitte Summer Associate Michelle DiMattia commented, “As MBAs, we are eager for frameworks to tackle tough, ambiguous problems, and having these tools and concrete process for innovation makes it seem more achievable. The Ten Types is an incredibly helpful way to effectively brainstorm.”

Summer Associates with the Deloitte Strategy MBA program learn about user-centered design.
Summer Associates with the Deloitte Strategy MBA program learn about user-centered design.

At the end of the session, each team delivered a business pitch for their final concepts. It’s always interesting to see the similarities and differences that emerge across teams after hours of divergence in ideation and convergence in selecting and developing a specific concept.

Thank you to the Deloitte Chicago Summer Associates for their engagement and enthusiasm throughout the session. We’re excited to see the type of work we do here at Doblin becoming more present in business school curriculum, and we hope this session served as a valuable complement to your summer with Deloitte.