Design Leadership and Innovation

IDE Design Master Class for Professionals

Improving innovation performance through strategic design practices

Innovation is key for companies to prosper, but innovation is challenging. Companies need to cope with rapid technological evolution, complex innovation dynamics, and empowered customers. Research has shown that strategic design practices can play a leading role in overcoming these challenges, steering innovation towards successful outcomes.


This IDE Master Class is aimed at professionals who would like to take a more strategic role in the innovative efforts of companies, and who want to go beyond executing new product/service design briefs. By using a three-step approach for leading and managing strategic innovation projects, this course will teach professionals how to upgrade their existing design practices for strategic purposes, and transform them into powerful innovation drivers. Participants will learn how to use these practices to impact strategic decision-making, win stakeholders’ support, and identify relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

Learning Objectives

During this master class you will learn:

  • a design driven approach for leading strategic design projects;
  • key strategic design practices and some related tools;
  • a way of thinking that combines design principles and business impact.


  • A 3-step process for leading strategic design projects
  • Cases and examples of strategic design practices in use
  • Models of (economic) value generation through design and their use (KPIs)



9:00 Registration and welcome coffee
9:30 Introduction and overview
Overview of the master class, key concepts, getting to know each other
10:00 Interactive session
Design leadership and the role of strategic design in innovation: Introduction and discussion of the design leadership matrix. The discussion will be based, among the rest, on participants own projects/cases.
11:00 Break
11:30 Case study 
Scaling design through a 3-step process: Discussion of a real case and introduction of a 3-step process for effectively using design at a strategic level.
13:00 Lunch
at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering
14:00 Guest speaker: Becoming a design leader
Learn and discuss with an expert what are the main skills and mindset that you should develop to become a succesful design leader.
15:30 Break
16:00 Workshop
Develop your own 3-step process: the participants will work in small groups on their own 3-step process, on the basis of their case/project.
17:15 Self-assessment and wrap-up of the day
17:30 End of the first day
9:30 Interactive session
Models for measuring the economic value of design: discussion on how and when to use the models in strategic design projects.
11:00 Break
11:30 Interactive session
Design narratives: based on the previous mini-lecture, the participants will discuss and develop effective narratives for communicating design outcomes at a strategic level and how to pursue stakeholder engagement.
13:00 Lunch
at the Porceleyne Fles
14:00 Guest speaker: Building strategic design capability
An experienced strategic designer will share insights into how organizations can establish a strategic design practice and how managers, as well as designers, can play a role in facilitating this transition.
15:00 Break
15:30 Interactive session
Core strategic design practices: based on the results of a self-assessment tool, participants will be engaged in small group exercises to discover and discuss core strategic design practices for implementing the 3-step process effectively.
17:20 Closing remarks and certificates
17:30 Drinks and closing
till 19:00

Practical Information

How to prepare?
Preparation for this master class includes reading and reflecting on the case studies that will be discussed in class, and the selection of a relevant case from participants’ own practice to bring to the course. The preparation will require approximately four hours.

To read
The preparation material (including case studies, reflection questions, and relevant articles) will be sent as a PDF by email. Participants will receive the reader at the beginning of the course. Hand-outs of all lectures will be provided with space for personal notes. All materials provided are included in the course fee.

After the course
Two months after the course, a pre-set consultation timeslot will be offered to all participants to share experiences and ask questions to the IDE Master Class. The format and the timing will be discussed with the participants during the IDE Master Class.