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Team & Environment

Creating in-house training programmes on key aspects of design thinking

Inland Revenue

Inland Revenue is the New Zealand government’s revenue collection agency. It has a similar function to the IRS in the United States.

They also administer a number of social support programmes. They are one of New Zealand’s larger government departments.

Inland Revenue has increasingly been looking toward human centred design to create better public services. This has meant over the years that new employees from a variety of backgrounds have been utilising design thinking tools within the organisation. Working collaboratively has uncovered the need for a shared language and tool set; one that can also be taught to new employees.

We didn’t simply roll out a canned training course but created immersive experiences that allowed the trainer and participants to work together as a design studio to overcome their own roadblocks.

Inland Revenue asked Empathy, as experts in design thinking, to work with them to develop training courses and materials that can be delivered in-house. With basic tools already being utilised there was a need for more advanced methods and a deeper understanding of how to apply the tools. We needed to go beyond presenting tools and start enabling employees to be designers and not just use design tools and techniques.

To ensure that the approach would be effective we iterated each manual through co-design and eventually co-taught the first courses so that the trainers were confident that they would inspire their teams.

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