Corporate Innovation & the Design Experience

i.Lab Jeanne LiedtkaNew in 2009, this innovation elective for second-year MBA students at Darden examines how design thinking and innovation principles can be used to enhance the value and accelerate the development of business opportunities that deliver organic growth. Learn to apply design methodologies and innovation tools by working in teams on a live, corporate project, working closely with a client company with a real problem to solve. Using interdisciplinary tools and in a collaborative, hands-on environment, explore the value of "design thinking" in its deeper and broader sense, beyond mere product design and innovation, as a fundamental source of value creation in business.

Specific topics to be studied will include market-driven design, ethnographic research methods, idea generation, hypothesis development and testing, prototyping and experimentation, concept visualization, and business-model design.

This interdisciplinary course begins in Quarter 3 and continues through Quarter 4. It is taught by Professor Jeanne Liedtka, former Executive Director of Darden's Batten Institute, with guest teaching by expert practitioners in design thinking.

Students tackle live business projects from companies such as Whirlpool, Marriott, and Wrigley as final projects for the course and present their creative work to executives who lead innovation efforts in these companies. The course is conducted in the new Innovation Lab (I-Lab) on Darden grounds which allows for more pedagogical flexibility and visual and collaborative interplay than traditional MBA classroom settings.

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