Novo Nordisk - Design thinking

Novo Nordisk asked Designit to help implement design thinking into their commercial organisation. Challenging the standardised ways of working, and igniting a business culture, which is less dominated by risk-avoidance and more committed to iterative decision making.

‘Novo Nordisk has chosen to introduce design thinking to the organisation, because it provides a new way of innovating’

Eva Tang Vangkilde

Global Project Lead - Patient Insights

With design thinking coming into the equation, Novo Nordisk wanted to challenge the existing mindset with a mindset of innovation. Although it is not about replacing existing capabilities such as planning and analysis, it is about adding new capabilities that can be used when it is appropriate.

Novo Nordisk had clear and bold ambitions in introducing design thinking. They wanted to become better at navigating in an increasingly complex reality. They wanted to be much more consumer-centric. And they wanted to become faster at exploring and arriving at solutions.

‘We will need to learn that there will always be some uncertainty. We will not have answers to everything. But knowing that also opens up new opportunities’

Tina Abild Olesen

Senior Vice President

When put into practice, design thinking offers strategic and transformative power to projects and people by enabling teams to quickly validate their assumptions and find new solutions to existing problem.

Together, we achieved these goals through an intense collaboration spanning half a year. For the first part of our training, 50 people took part in a two-day training session, where they learned tools and tricks from the design thinking approach. This was done by means of participatory learning, giving hands-on experience on how design thinking can be applied in different real-life scenarios.

Second, five commercial projects and project managers each got a mentor from Designit that helped implement some of the methods into ongoing projects. The teams at Novo worked with value propositions, service journey’s, user insights and concept development, while sharing individual progress and ideas to inspire each other and challenge the status quo.

Across all five projects, Novo Nordisk and Designit managed to inspire new ways of working, resulting in:

  • Higher willingness to experiment
  • Ownership of tools and methods
  • Trust in process vs. outcome
  • Strong motivation to change
  • Testing new go-to-market plans
  • Involvement of +200 people in strategic and creative workshops

‘Design thinking really sped everything up. We managed to complete milestones within a one-day workshop that would normally take us a month to do within our existing processes.’

Jette Dall Andersen

Associate Global Project Director



Novo Nordisk


Get in touch

Frida Setterberg

Head of Studio,
Copenhagen & Aarhus

[email protected]