The Tale of the Broken Bin

The office manager is pulling her hair out. It’s the height of summer and people keep leaving the kitchen bin lid open. Think of the flies! Think of the smell! Someone suggests using Design Thinking to solve the problem. As the kids might say, “WTF?”



Design Thinking is a powerful and proven stratagem for problem solving, not just in product design (where the process first developed), but in all walks of life and all disciplines. Why? Because it focuses on the humans at the centre of the problem, and seeks to solve issues that work with human nature, not against it. Whatever the field of design they work in, all Designers worth their salt should employ some Design Thinking before they get to doing, but you don’t have to be a designer to use Design Thinking for yourself.

In this seminar, we seek to solve a seemingly mundane problem using Design Thinking.

Is it right for me?

  • You’re an Office Manager with a smelly bin in your kitchen
  • You’re interested in solving problems innovatively and effectively
  • You’ve heard about Design Thinking and want to know more
  • You’re not sure how to apply Design Thinking in the work you do

Outline of content

As mentioned, this seminar is built around a simple situation that has arisen in a fictional office. We first look at how the office manager might tackle the problem in a more traditional reactionary way, and then we look at how Design Thinking can be employed to give her some more options that have a better chance of working, or even open opportunities to improve much more than the way staff use the bin.

We look at:

  • Tenets of Design Thinking
  • Outward versus inward mindset
  • Empathy in resolution of unproductive working relationships

Learning objectives

Selfishly I want my participants to leave with a new-found appreciation for Design as a strategic discipline rather than simply aesthetic, that incorporates strategic thinking with empathy and psychology. But most importantly, I want them to leave feeling like Design is something relevant and useful to them, and that they can think like a Designer to drive their innovation and solve a panoply of problems they might be faced with, from smelly office bins to deeper cultural issues in their workplace.



10-20 participants

Call or email us to book now:


Ideally, the workshops are best held off-site from your normal business premises. We have significant discounts on meeting rooms at The Bristol & Bath Science Park, should you wish to consider having your workshops here.

To get the most value from your seminar, we recommend groups of between 10 and 20 participants.

Travel and other disbursements are not included in this price.