Design Leadership and Innovation

26 May 2021 00:00 - Location: Online - By: Giulia Calabretta & Jurgen Tanghe

here is no doubt that innovation is key to progress. Companies worldwide invest millions per year on the development of new products and services that will ensure their economic sustainability. However, innovation is a challenging endeavour that requires strategic thinking, customer focus, the right organisational climate, and an effective management approach.

There is no doubt that innovation is key to progress. Companies worldwide invest millions per year on the development of new products and services that will ensure their economic sustainability. However, innovation is a challenging endeavor that requires strategic thinking, customer focus, the right organizational climate, and an effective management approach.

Designers, with their specific skills, can take a major part in driving innovation. This is already successfully happening in companies like SAP, Pepsi-Co and Philips, where design professionals play a leading role in steering innovation.

Inspired by these cases, this design course is aimed at designers who would like to take a more active role in the innovative efforts of companies, and who want to go beyond executing new product/service design briefs. It suits strategic designers with an interest in acquiring a more senior position in the company or even becoming a Chief Design Officer (CDO). Or designers with ambition to better understand and develop their strategic potential, become sparring partners in crafting briefs, and influence strategic decision-making within their organizations.

By using a three-step approach for leading and managing strategic innovation projects, this course will teach you how to harness your existing design practices – such as envisioning, orchestrating, inspiring, etc. and transform them into powerful innovation drivers. You will learn how to use these practices to impact strategic decision-making, win stakeholders' support, and identify relevant KPIs. You will also learn how to adapt your design practices and design-driven way of working to a particular company. Finally, you will practice some design methods to make your impact durable over time.

Through a combination of short lectures, given by design and innovation experts, practical exercises, webinar and individualized feedback, you will learn which design capabilities and practices are most valued by companies, and how to use them effectively for improving a company's innovation performance. To help you gain a better understanding of innovation, you will:

  • Learn how your strategic contributions can help companies create and capture value through innovation.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the organization you are working in.
  • Utilize this understanding to effectively interact with management and other stakeholders.

What you'll learn:

  • A 3-step process for leading strategic design projects
  • 8 strategic design practices and related tools
  • A KPI-driven way of looking at companies
  • A way of thinking that combines design principles and business sense