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Compact case
Case
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Reference no. SM250A
Published by: Stanford Business School
Originally published in: 2016
Version: 12 April 2016
Length: 4 pages
Data source: Field research

Abstract

This is part of a case series. The SAP Design Thinking case follows the path of Sam Yen, Chief Design Officer at SAP, on his quest to infuse design thinking into the SAP organization. Through a series of programs and events, Yen discovered that while employees of the multinational conglomerate expressed interest in leveraging design thinking in their work, they never seemed to follow through with it. Yen and his design team experimented with a plethora of tactics - ranging from grassroots campaigns meant to engage the employee base, to top-down approaches intended to excite the company's executives, with the hopes that this enthusiasm would trickle down throughout the rest of the organization. On a trail rife with challenges, Yen and his team struggled to continuously develop new approaches until suddenly the metaphorical storm cleared, and he could clearly see a path to scale design thinking throughout SAP.
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Abstract

This is part of a case series. The SAP Design Thinking case follows the path of Sam Yen, Chief Design Officer at SAP, on his quest to infuse design thinking into the SAP organization. Through a series of programs and events, Yen discovered that while employees of the multinational conglomerate expressed interest in leveraging design thinking in their work, they never seemed to follow through with it. Yen and his design team experimented with a plethora of tactics - ranging from grassroots campaigns meant to engage the employee base, to top-down approaches intended to excite the company's executives, with the hopes that this enthusiasm would trickle down throughout the rest of the organization. On a trail rife with challenges, Yen and his team struggled to continuously develop new approaches until suddenly the metaphorical storm cleared, and he could clearly see a path to scale design thinking throughout SAP.

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