Leadership, Learning and Design Thinking with Nigel Murphy

In Conversation with Nigel Murphy: Leadership, Learning and Design Thinking

Nigel Murphy is an experienced leader, learning designer, mentor, and facilitator. Having worked for top-tier executive development organisations such as the Centre for Creative Leadership and Korn Ferry, he is an expert at enabling leaders to learn in various industries and organisation levels.

Nigel Murphy

His interests and project work include working with new leaders to help them lead critical organisational transformations and developing coaching cultures.

In a conversation with Nigel, he outlined how leadership development is evolving and why design thinking is currently interesting for leaders beyond design and tech departments.

What are the issues or topics in leadership development that you are passionate about right now?

Today, it is so important for leaders to be resilient, able to think about things in new and different ways, and build a climate that motivates and encourages innovation.

How do you see leadership development now (and how has it evolved)?

Leadership development used to be all about listening to theories and acquiring knowledge. Knowledge is still important, however, leaders also need to connect and engage with others, practice skills, and get feedback, stretch and extend what they can do, and create new applications.

Why is design thinking important for leaders?

The old views of leadership as a fixed element, implemented through the hierarchy, using a single point of command and knowing everything aren’t suited to a complex, changing, and uncertain world.

Today, it is so important for leaders to be resilient, able to think about things in new and different ways, and build a climate that motivates and encourages innovation.

Design thinking is a perfect approach for enabling creative and innovative ways of viewing the world. It uses a set of techniques that help leaders really understand their people.

What might be some of the design thinking behaviours, skills, or methods that leaders could benefit from?

Using empathy mapping and creating personas is a super way to really see things from an employee’s point of view. Leaders need to test out the best way to approach their role.

Prototyping and testing can apply to a leadership style in similar ways to any service operation. The end result of design thinking is better innovation, and if we are to lead in our changing world, we need to constantly evolve and innovate our approach to leadership.


Learning More

Take a look at our blog post and infographic on 8 Design Thinking Skills for Leadership Development.

To learn how to introduce design thinking to managers and leaders in an engaging, experiential workshop (online or face to face), take a look at our Unlimited Design Thinking workshop. A sneak peek below.

Oct 20, 2pm CET | Online Event

In this participative event we explore how to use the power of design thinking in leading teams – to apply across organisational functions from HR to marketing and general management.

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