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G2000 adopts design thinking to drive organisational development



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In an ever-changing business landscape, it’s a truism that the ability to identify potential challenges, and take action in a timely manner, is the key to staying competitive. However, it is often easier said than done.

At G2000, upon acknowledging the talent crunch in key business areas, top management and the human resources department turned their attention to the concept of “design thinking” and modified the existing structure. In recognition of its achievement in this sphere, the multi-brand apparel specialty retailer was awarded bronze for Excellence in Organisation Development at HR Distinction Awards Hong Kong 2019.

Design thinking – a cognitive, strategic and practical five-stage process that sets out to empathise, define, ideate, prototype and test – was deployed to enhance G2000’s organisational effectiveness and health. This is especially relevant in the following areas: Talent pipeline, change management, company culture, and the development of an emerging brand.

Empathic individual interviews and small group discussions between the executive management, HR team, and designer and buyer are organised regularly.

“Design thinking emphasises human-centred processes,” says Clara Ngan, group human resources director at G2000.

“We believe only through asking our talent about their career aspirations that we can create valuable solutions that address their needs. This can also strengthen their engagement and commitment to us in the long term.”

To cultivate an open and safe environment for talent to speak their mind, top management has come up with a set of rules for the moderators, based on Stephen Covey’s self-help book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

These habits of success include having a “what I can do to support” mindset and taking the initiative to understand talent.

G2000’s CEO Damien Ko also sets an example of supporting the culture of open communication by adopting the 3C Model in his work. The three Cs are: collaborate teamwork, constructive challenge and consumer focus.

Between defining the problem and taking action, G2000 trials the proposed ideas for a short period of time, collects feedback, evaluates if there is any significant changes, and then executes the best solution.

“As part of design thinking, after creating our first approach, which is derived from the insights we gathered from our talent, we will test it and then we will have interviews with our talent again to fine-tune our prototype,” Ngan says.

Looking forward, G2000 will continue to keep track on the business performance of its teams and the organisational development projects, share its cases with its regional human resources team, and extend the design thinking approach to other departments.

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