Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation

Alva H. Taylor, Associate Professor of Business Administration
Full Faculty Bio

Design thinking started as a process to aid product design, but many companies are now using the concepts for broader and more strategic efforts. Companies such as GE, Lowes Hardware, Lego, Mass Mutual, IBM, and Capital One are all increasingly embracing design thinking as a methodology for cutting through the complexity of operations, confusion about consumer needs, and the inertia of true-and-tried business models.

This is a strategic management course about how organizations can use the methods and processes of design thinking to innovate their strategies, business models, and environments. It is designed for the strategist and the general manager – no technical background is assumed. It is intended to provide an introduction to the application of the tools and techniques of design thinking for the purpose of developing innovative strategies and business models.

The course combines theory and practice to provide you with a toolkit for creative thinking and action. The course engages students in the creative processes for opportunity discovery, ideation, problem-solving, and solution development. It is not a product design course (Thayer Engineering offers a great complementary course that focuses on product design). It is intended to provide students with a foundation to conduct designing thinking in business development, consulting, and entrepreneurial activities. The course, similar to design thinking, requires the student to be an active and motivated participant in the class, class exercises, and outside class preparation.

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