Design Thinking and Business Coaching - a slam dunk!

Design Thinking and Business Coaching


As a Business Coach, I have the most awesome job in the world! Working alongside clients; together exploring their ideas, concepts and ‘views of the future’; helping them to analyse, explore, mould, challenge, frame and design their dreams.


Because my job is all about allowing someone to become successful doing what he or she loves, doing what they’ve always wanted to do, putting together the package to make that possible!

There is nothing like a tall Americano or a frosted glass of iced lemon water to help uncover the intricacies of a great idea, an idea that has, sometimes, been quietly harboured for years.

I liken the process to examining a cocoon created by a silk worm … attempting to unravel the silk filaments of what is the core idea or operational concept; carefully isolating the thought processes, until a closely held treasure surfaces. DESIGN THINKING has become an invaluable tool in exploring ideas from a different perspective.

But what has design got to do with Coaching?

It is our belief that design principles are one of the key tools as we strive for innovation. Nigel Cross, in his book Designerly Ways of Knowing talks about this:

Everything we have around us has been designed. Design ability is, is fact, one of the three fundamental dimensions of human intelligence. Design, Science, and Art form an AND not an ‘or’ relationship, to create the incredible human cognitive ability. Nigel Cross.

It is in the higher order thinking practices of DESIGN THINKING that we find the tools to understand the full value of the idea. We use these same iterative thinking processes in deciding how best to frame a successful product, service, business or service organisation and it’s need-meeting outcomes.

To that end, distinctive hypothesis are created to explore what the client hopes to accomplish and beyond. At THE BIZ COACH we want to work with the client to allow she or he consider how their idea could change lives in ways that have never been considered before.

Tested for validity through a knowledge funnel: the less than optimum failures are discarded, and the successful hypothesis becomes the foundation formula on which to develop the idea, product, business or enterprise.

It sounds simple, but consider how much your idea is potential worth, and the risk of getting it all wrong. Some things in life are a little more complex than they initially appear.

“Design is the action of bringing something new and desired into existence – a proactive stance that resolved or dissolves problematic situation by design. It is a compound of routine, adaptive and design expertise brought to bear on complex dynamic situations.” Harold Nelson, The Design Way.

We use design-thinking principles throughout the coaching process. Starting with establishing if there is a potentially profitable outcome, we look at ‘profit’ beyond financial return.
For your idea to become truly innovative, and hopefully, a profitable solution, our goal is to explore if your developed concept could change the way buyers or users behave. That’s the win-win we plan to achieve in a formal coaching relationship. Without it, all you end up with is a dirtier cocoon – an idea at risk of not being conceived.

Professor Roger Martin, a proponent of the Design Thinking principles, coined the term The Design of Business. We build on this key concept, that solutions to ‘wicked problems’ are unlikely to be found in past experience and historical data. If we hope to find new solutions to meet our customer’s unarticulated needs, we need to find a way to create and explore new knowledge … to see the world as it should be, rather than as it is.

Let me leave you with Steve Job’s view on design.

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box [or a brief], and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

If you think that have a great idea, or you have a ‘itch’ that needs to be scratched, we’d like to take up the challenge to explore it’s potential. Oh, yes, the first Americano is on me.


Call me 082 203 8229, text me +27 [0] 82 302 8229, send me an email – laurie@thebizcoach.

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Why design thinking and business coaching together, achieve an optimal approach in creating never before considered customer solutions – it’s the business of design. Design Thinking, Design, Business Coaching, Satisfied Customers. The Business of Design.

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01/07/16 Your first steps before engaging a Coach


It starts with accepting that you have gaps in your knowledge … about your life, your career or your business. Acknowledging that you don’t know everything!

Secondly, if you are considering working with a coach, there are three other characteristics you should display.

  • Motivated by a fierce desire to learn and grow … to change.
  • Prepared to have your belief systems challenged.
  • Consider your personal and career development using a coach, as an investment

When it comes to choosing a coach, there are characteristics you should be looking for:

  • Integrity in everything is the first skill your coach should exhibit.

If you’re looking for a manager, find someone energetic, intelligent and has integrity.

If he hasn’t got the third, don’t. 

[The same applies to a lifestyle, career or a business coach.]

Said at Warren Buffet’s recent Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting at Omaha.


When it comes to choosing a coach, there are other characteristics you should be looking for:

  • A toolbox of personal skills and experience that can be adapted to produce a plan, that meets your needs; but coupled with a flexibility by the coach to discuss possible solutions effectively.
  • Strategic fit – someone you are comfortable to work with
  • A coach who isn’t focussed on themselves – rather someone who is comfortable developing relationships, exhibiting an understanding of your unique needs,  focussed on facilitating your learning –  someone you feel comfortable with in your interaction … someone you trust to empower you to become the best you can be.

A successful coach is someone who has a high level of emotional intelligence, is self-aware without being overpowering, outwardly-focused, and is able to put others first. They have the qualities, in other words, to facilitate your personal develop and to empower you as a leader, to coach you to achieve excellence!

Considering engaging a Coach?

We offer a free consultation – talking before walking.
Contact me, Laurie Vogt, to set up a meeting – 082 302 8229

Get to know THE BIZ COACH –


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Customised coaching programmes can be developed on your behalf.

We have experience in this area.

THE BIZ COACH has an extensive and growing library of business related tools, concepts and tool boxes.

You can choose from these resources to develop a coaching outline that is best suited to your needs.

We also have the capability to development new tool boxes and programmes to adapt coaching programmes to meet your specific learning needs, at different levels within your company or organisation. The adapated programmes will be structured  to achieve your unique outcomes – improve performance, set clear targets for strategy actions, increase your staff engagement, motivation, clarify teamwork roles …

Customised Coaching Programmes can be one-on-one or run as in-house team workshops.


While the bulk of our experience is in the commercial field, we have celebrated success in working with Faith-based and Non-Profit organisations.

This process starts with a free consultation within the Johannesburg area. Travel beyond this geographic area is subject to a travel cost.


Life Coaching

An holistic, personal development approach, known as Life Coaching is also available for individuals who are exploring their future, for example on being re-trenched, or are looking for greater satisfaction in their lives. These are structured as customised programmes to meet the unique needs of each person coached.


Facilitated Practical Application

Our programmes and initiatives are built on extensive studies, practical application across industries and personal experience.The BIZ COACH operates with one goal in mind, to assist you to achieve the success you know you are capable of, and even allow you to reach beyond your self-imposed limits.




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