Accenture has bolstered its skills in design thinking by snapping up Australian consultancy 2nd Road for an undisclosed sum.

The consultancy, which was home to 22 “strategists, designers and educators”, is now moving under the Accenture Strategy division.

Accenture believed its acquired target would help it add a “human-centred co-design” element to pitches, and “give clients a competitive edge by enabling them to fundamentally re-imagine the future of their organisations.”

Design thinking, in many ways, is really just code for thinking more creatively and with some degree of user-centricity about business problems.

It has a number of backers, including Salesforce which also acquired the capability by purchasing a consultancy called AKTA.

It now also has Accenture, although the company’s consulting arm has already looked at applications of design thinking to governments in Australia and New Zealand previously.

“The concept of design-led innovation is driven by a deep understanding of user needs and an ethos of shaping an organisation, service or product around that user,” it said at the time.

“This is done using research, rapid prototyping, constant feedback and experimentation to deliver quick, effective results.

“It is no fad: design thinking has become a proven approach to complex service or organisational issues in the private sector.”

2nd Road was founded in 2002 and, according to Accenture, brings with it a toolkit to “help turn creative thinking into accessible methodologies”.

“I founded 2nd Road because I saw rising demand for something fresh and different to conventional management practices, and I knew that by bringing together the power of analytics and creative thinking, I could fill a gap in the market,” 2nd Road’s Tony Golsby-Smith said.

“By joining Accenture Strategy, we will be able to take our approach to more organisations, serve our clients in new ways and provide more end-to-end solutions that they are increasingly seeking.”

Accenture, meanwhile, believed the skills and methodologies would help its clients meet disruptive and transformative challenges head-on.

“Business leaders in all industries are facing unprecedented levels of disruption and technology transformation, which is driving a sense of urgency to do things differently,” Accenture Strategy group CEO Mark Knickrehm said in a statement.

“The acquisition of 2nd Road boosts our ability to use innovation to co-create the future state for our clients and design the strategies that will drive real change for them.”