3.27/5 (11 voters)


Design Thinking, the current leading innovation approach, is an alternative to the project or change management approach. This methodology is used to get a better understanding of customers' needs.

Design Thinking is based on strong empathy for customers. The approach involves a systematic and iterative learning & development cycle. This cycle deepens the knowledge about the customer's contexts, needs and motivations. Pursuing those activities within the cycle enables organisations to receive continuous feedback from customers, thereby gaining access to their real needs beyond what they might have initially stated. The activities involve need finding, ideation processes, the building of rapid prototypes and testing of those prototypes with customers.

Why is customer-centricity so essential for Kuehne + Nagel?

Our focus on customers is key for sustainable success. Today, it is not only about putting the customer in the centre of everything we do, it is also imperative to become quicker in implementing ideas as market-ready solutions. Customer focus and speed will be our key differentiator. Customers become more and more demanding in their everyday business with their different suppliers / service providers.

What is the added value of Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is the most often applied and most successful approach to become more customer oriented. Design Thinking has a unique way of approaching innovation challenges and puts the customer at the forefront of any agenda: the customer decides what is needed, based on his/her needs. Design thinking is applied to a wide range of problems: from customer- facing product or service innovation to internal process improvements and matters of cultural change in teams and departments.

Design Thinking is not easy to apply in a corporate setting

The way how Design Thinking works is different than the way we are used to develop solutions. Most companies are strongly occupied with internal perspectives and discussions and invest not enough time in really understanding the customer and actively involve him/her in development process.Design Thinking requires direct and continuous customer contact.

We believe that Design Thinking is the ideal tool and approach in Kuehne + Nagel to develop and implement ideas and concepts to stay focused and build excellence. The Design Thinking mindset cannot only drive innovation at Kuehne + Nagel but also towards an adaptive and agile organization.

Recommended material to learn more about Design Thinking

Here is a selection of videos that we use to introduce the methodology in our programmes, such as the Global Talent Programme. ยท

For further reading, we recommend this article.