Vishal Jodhani is an Indian-born business design consultant and facilitator, now based in Australia. He has also worked in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and is an avid traveller. His popular Climbing Mount Everest concept was a winner on our recent Workplace Wellness Challenge. He is a self-proclaimed ‘catalyst’. And when he’s not busy catalysing, he can be found cruising on his motorcycle or enjoying an early morning run.
What first drew you to get involved in OpenIDEO?
I first came across OpenIDEO during my Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Adelaide. I had always been a huge IDEO fan and was looking for ways to plug in, join the conversation and contribute. OpenIDEO provided just that – and more. I loved the nature of the big, socially-focused questions being asked, the nature of the challenges and how the conversations were being curated. I found myself quickly shift from being a mere observer to an eager collaborator.
And how's the ride been so far?
Joining OpenIDEO at first feels like walking into a big event where the room is buzzing with energy, everyone is sharing a new idea, engaging others in conversation and so full of energy and enthusiasm. You’re just the new entrant – eager to contribute but feeling a little shy. You are a mere observer and then you slowly chime into a conversation – and then another. You soon realise what you say matters and people really listen. Your presence is welcomed and appreciated. You now get a feel of the room and finally muster up courage to put your own ideas out there. All of a sudden, you are playing host. You welcome others to join in. Some reinforce and applaud, some challenge you to think differently or think bigger, some help you build and shape… and your idea now has a life of it’s own. And you my friend, you feel at home.
That’s what happened when I posted my Climbing Mount Everest concept to the Workplace Wellness Challenge. I experienced how the community can applaud and encourage, reinforce and build – but also challenge, question and stretch raw initial ideas into more robust solutions. It really is fascinating to watch a virtual, global community come together and go through so many different stages – chaos and order, confusion and clarity – to eventually produce a range of meaningful solutions.
You call yourself a 'creative catalyst'. Can you tell us a little more?
I use the design thinking process and principles to solve business challenges, especially focused on driving business growth. I work with a range of organisations from startups to universities, from non-profits to large multinational corporations, on a variety of projects. I help launch new initiatives, facilitate collaboration within and across teams, design leadership development programs and key conferences, plus support with business model innovation.
You have a keen interest in leadership and enabling others. How might your experience on OpenIDEO shape that going forward?
I strongly believe that the quality of leadership determines the quality of an organisation. I introduce the leaders I work with to design thinking approaches and generally notice two big changes. These leaders begin to champion a more human-centric approach by actually reaching out to their users and observing them engage with the product / service. And the other rewarding change is often the shift from a top-down culture to one of co-creation and collaboration. My experience on OpenIDEO has encouraged me to continue this approach and embrace the role of facilitator over consultant.
What are your future plans around design + social impact?
I am committed to applying design thinking to create positive social impact, especially in the field of education. I am keen and ready to join a design consultancy to dive deeper, channel my energy, hone my skills and work on a wide range of projects. OpenIDEO to me is the perfect platform to collaborate with amazing individuals – and fuel my passion for design and social impact.
Cheers Vishal. We hope to enjoy more of your collaborative action in future!