The focus of this course is on design thinking, a particular problem-solving approach that emphasizes customer empathy, invention, optionality, and iteration as its core components. Design thinking is concerned with the creative side of strategic thinking and complements the more analytical strategic orientation that emphasizes quantitative methodologies, evaluation frameworks, and the assessment of a single solution to a strategic problem. The course is oriented around a model of a staged problem-solving process that asks the questions: what is, what if, what wows, and what works. Each of these stages incorporates selected tools developed by design consultancies (with IDEO being the most prominent) to accelerate the pace, quantity, and quality of the innovative ideas produced. A final tool, visualization, spans all four stages, and a series of project management aids (design brief, criteria, napkin pitch, and learning guide) are incorporated to manage the process culminating in a final student deliverable applying the process to a hypothetical area of opportunity for a business of studentsí choosing. This course is a nonproject-based version of GBUS 8459, the Corporate Innovation and Design Experience.


Academic course objectives:


         Introducing students to a form of strategic thinking that is a more of a right brain problem-solving approach focused on hypothesis generation that complements a more left brain emphasis on hypothesis testing

         Familiarize students with the tools used in the design world that are increasingly of interest to the more traditional strategy consulting firms, giving them a competitive advantage in recruiting

         Expand how students think about innovation beyond the design and development of new products to other fundamental sources of value creation

         Allow students to integrate both creative and analytic approaches to dealing with business issues and help them appreciate the power and relevance of each


Elements of the course grade:


Class contribution†††††††††††††††††† 33.3%

Individual journal†††††††††††††††††† 33.3%

Final deliverable††††††††††††††††††††† 33.3%