McGill Management Insights: Design Thinking 101 with Jared Lee (MBA’18)

Jared Lee MMIIn the bustling corridors of corporate boardrooms, where spreadsheets and PowerPoint decks reign supreme, there exists a secret weapon—a creative force that breathes life into innovation. Welcome to the world of design thinking.

Design thinking isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a mindset, a methodology, and a superpower rolled into one. It’s the compass that guides organizations toward solutions that are not only functional but also innovative. Whether you’re crafting a user-friendly app, reimagining a supply chain, or finding the most optimal place to store your socks, design thinking can be your North Star.

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As Jared Lee (MBA’18), faculty lecturer and Principal at Juniper, articulates, “design thinking is a structured and creative approach to human-centered problem solving.”

“It’s a three-part definition,” he explains. “There’s structure in place, which means that there is a method to madness. There are tools and processes that we can use. But it also taps into the creative side of our brain. In some types of problems, it is important to also tap into our empathic side, our creative side, where we have leaps of imagination, where we connect with individuals to understand their context, to gain new perspectives before we even try anything [...] and then to really put the human at the centre of the problem.”

Jared’s journey with the concept of design thinking commenced during his master’s in mechanical engineering at Stanford, and he delved deeper into it not only through the lens of an engineer but also as a management student during his MBA at McGill.

Since then, it’s been a passion of his and a focal point in his current role at Juniper, a boutique firm offering consulting and learning solutions at the creative crossroads of strategy, innovation, and culture—a venture initiated by fellow McGill MBA alum Mike Ross (MBA’11).

In this capacity, he assists clients in understanding stakeholders, deciphering complexity, and enhancing team performance. Moreover, the two MBA alums have collaborated with the McGill Executive Institute through Juniper to conduct workshops for professional learners. Now, Jared imparts his expertise to students at McGill Desautels, teaching design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Tune in to the latest episode of McGill Management Insights, hosted by MBA student Shree Krupa Krishna Prasad, to delve deeper into design thinking as a powerful tool for innovation and problem-solving, including which problem domains reap the most benefits from this approach. Then, discover how you can incorporate it, be it in a corporate environment or even within the confines of your own home!

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This episode was hosted by

Shree Krupa Krishna Prasad
MBA, 25

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