How to Use Design Thinking to Drive More Agile Ways of Working

Richard Cawthray

August 2017

Associate Director Design, Procter & Gamble

Can you tell us a bit about your background and your role?

I am a designer. I love hearing about problems, frictions and challenges and thinking how can we overcome them. I love challenges. It’s why I am involved in many aspects of problem solving at work. I prefer to work with teams and organisations on really tough problems as there is amazing collective genius that manifests when we are all focused on a common goal. I have focused on Design through my training and career as I love being in this creative space – understanding the user and then finding out how others and my creativity can provide an unexpected solution. My current role sees me working across many different business areas and brands partnering with business and HR leaders helping the team to focus on unleashing their creativity and creating experiments in which we are rapidly testing and learning.

What do you see as being the biggest challenges facing CPG and Retail companies over the next five years?

Particularly in large CPG companies like P&G – how to tap into the immense creativity of the organization to generate new brand stories and services that make the users life even more enriching in using our brands whilst managing the current business. It has to be an ‘AND’ and this is tough when trying to create the conditions for experiments whilst harmonizing the current business. In combination, I am fascinated by how the organization will have to evolve to integrate new skillsets and multi-disciplinary approaches to work and learning.

At the LEAD Network Event in November you will be speaking on: “How to Use Design Thinking to Drive More Agile Ways of Working”. Can you give us an insight into what delegates attending your session can expect?

To taste how Design Thinking as an innovation tool is helping P&G as an organization to continue to have a really deep user centeredness, the consumer really is boss, and we have to always be strongly connected to them to understand new and emerging needs. Delegates will experience the key steps in the Design Thinking approaches and stages of work, and will leave a sense of how they could tackle some of their business challenges with an inclusive, bias to action and learning approach.

Can you give us an insight into the man outside of work, and what you like to do in your free time?

I love challenges. At home I am a passionate father of two growing boys with my wife, and we love to live outdoors and nurture them with new experiences in travel and sport. We love travelling to experience nature and wildlife outdoors visiting South Africa, USA and Europe. I am a dedicated cyclist and each year enter events to push my own personal boundaries, this year it was the Marmotte event in France cycling 174km and climbing 5033m in a day. I am an Ambassador with the Haute Route endurance cycling event, a 7 day timed cycling event, crossing the Alps twice over the last few years and this year will head to the Pyrenees to compete and be part of the community experiencing their own personal boundaries on their bicycle.