Podcast: Design Thinking with Rosemary Phan

For the gifted design thinking coach featured on today’s episode, the doors to a dream life opened after she discovered her true persona – as a network orchestrator, i.e., a facilitator, connector, and problem-solver who brings resources together to make big things happen. Though inherent, these traits started to surface when people began talking about her solution-attracting ability all the time. She had a way out of almost every problem people came to her with: even things like failing to find a decent plumber anywhere!

Today, Rosemary Phan recalls her journey of realising her true identity, which she feels resembles Doraemon – the Japanese manga character known predominantly for being a keeper of all things. Getting into the crux of this mammoth discovery in individuals, hosts Han Ee and David, along with Rosemary, explain how it all goes back to human relationships – because your personas are often a product of who you are to others. And it doesn’t change because it follows your journey mapping. It’s unique to you and is the part of you most identifiable by people. 

A certified Design Thinking Facilitator with over 25 years of professional experience in human interaction, training, sales, market development, consulting and entrepreneurship, Rosemary Phan is a people-genius. She helps individuals “realise their dreams by bridging them through a human-centred approach”. She finds design thinking as the “glue” between all disciplines – a tool that helps everybody work together. In today’s episode, we dive into Rosemary Phan’s thoughts on design thinking and how personas play a big part for leaders in building collaboration amongst team members and lead their teams more effectively. We also deep-dive into how design thinking enables organisations to be future-ready. 

If it’s your first time tuning in to The Show, welcome! The Show aims to provide you with raw, real, and relaxed conversations about future readiness, leadership, and human performance.

Click here to watch the stream on LinkedIn.


(00:17) About ‘The Show’ + Meet Han Ee

(00:46) Meet David, an executive leadership coach + the founder of Leaping Koi.

(01:15) How Han Ee and David met in India on a leadership program in Chennai + how their bromance grew into a thicker bond, and what led them to start The Show

(03:26) How Rosemary’s thoughts resonate with the philosophy of The Show. At Design Thinkers, her company, nothing is scripted, and they believe in going with the flow. As a network orchestrator, she works with resources, putting them together, and creating what can be compared to music for her clients.

(06:09) Discovering our personas: Every individual shapes it through their experiences. When people look at you, they can identify you with that persona. 

(10:30) Do personas change and evolve? They don’t because they follow your journey mapping, which is unique. 

(15:42) How we relate to each other + allow our relationships to unfold forms the crux of our personas. Our personas transcend into how we live our lives, and how we relate to the people around us, the environment, the community, and the workplace. 

(17:36) The risk of categorising people into personas: Are we risking creating a bias for people, putting them into boxes they might find hard to come out of?

(22:03) Defining design thinking: Design thinking is the glue between all disciplines; it doesn’t form silos and is rather a collaborative way where everyone follows a certain process with help from the right tools. 

(23:38) Attaining deeper levels of mastery 

(28:12) The great resignation or the great rethinking? David explains why the pandemic has made people realise how long they are willing to put up with something they don’t feel great about and how much they are willing to sacrifice if they discover better options to live. David’s words of advice to employers is, “If you can’t trust people to do their job, don’t hire them.”

(35:45) The tools, approaches, and methods that help people connect better with the organisation they work for and foster a dynamic, longer term within the organisation? 

(40:24) How can leaders embody the values of design thinking to lead organisations better?

(43:35) Reframing a problem to find solutions to it.

About Rosemary Phan:

Rosemary Phan is a DesignThinkers™️ Certified Design Thinking Facilitator with over 25 years of professional experience in the areas of human interaction, training, sales, market development, consulting and entrepreneurship. She is also the Chief Partnership Officer at GOYA Universe.

Connect With Rosemary Phan:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/rosemaryphan/

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