Executive Education

Design Thinking for Innovative Business Problem Solving

Innovation for the rest of us. You don't have to work at Google or IDEO to use design in your organization. Design Thinking for Innovative Business Problem Solving translates design from an abstract idea into a practical, everyday process any manager can use to spur innovation and drive organic growth, regardless of your creative bent.

Program Overview

Use design thinking to improve the speed and success of your innovation. This program distills design thinking into a clear process that will help you decrease the risk and cost of your projects by framing the challenges correctly so that innovation is maximized, gathering deep insights about value creation for your stakeholders, testing assumptions early and prototyping the concepts.

Learn to:

  • Use a disciplined approach to brainstorming that leads to valuable and actionable output.
  • Engage the customer in the development of new business offerings.
  • Use learning launches to make quick decisions about if and how to move ahead with growth projects.
  • Reduce the unknowns to a concrete list of challenges you can solve through your organization's existing resources.
  • Have a process for handling dissent, resolving conflicts constructively and adapting on the fly.

Testimonial Quotes

The design thinking methodology has been a true discovery to me. In a complex business world, the most difficult thing is not to have great ideas on how to improve things, but to get all the involved people on board and be able to stick to the plans. This is the real challenge. Design thinking allows us to include all the stakeholders from the beginning and this makes all the difference!! They all feel part of it because their opinion has been considered from the very start.

Alexander Siegenthaler
Managing Director/ Head of Private Banking
Bank Sarasin, Zurich Switzerland

The design tool is just a great way to tackle so many problems, I hope you and your students can teach it to many more, especially in companies and in the public sector. How in the world did we operate without those key steps before brainstorming!!!

Souheil Hajjar
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director
Majid Al Futtaim Trust (Dubai), Global Investment Company


Leaders who need a process for innovation and generating new possibilities for innovation and growth.



Jeanne Liedtka - Faculty Leader

United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration
Jeanne M. Liedtka is the former chief learning officer at United Technologies Corporation, a Fortune 50 corporation where she was responsible for overseeing corporate learning and development. At Darden, she formerly served as associate dean of the MBA program and as executive director of the Batten Institute. She authored The Catalyst: How You Can Lead Extraordinary Growth, which was one of Bloomberg Businessweek's best innovation books of 2009, Designing for Growth, which was named the best management book of 2011 by 800-CEO-READ, and Solving Problems with Design Thinking: 10 Stories of What Works.

Faculty Bio Page

 Photo of Marian Moore

Marian Chapman Moore

Emeritus Professor of Business Administration
Moore emphasizes marketing as a system to design, deliver and sustain the customer value proposition. Moore designed the MBA for Executives format of the Darden MBA and has conducted pioneering research on consumers' emotional responses to advertising and marketing managers' strategic decision-making processes. She consults with major law firms, providing expert testimony on several marketing-related issues, such as brand infringement and dilution.

Faculty Bio Page


Complete faculty information

Key Takeaways

  • Use 10 tools to drive the design-thinking process.
  • Brainstorm beyond simplistic lists of possibilities to arrive at robust concepts that can be evaluated, prototyped and developed.
  • Conduct successful learning launches, so you can experiment in the marketplace quickly and inexpensively.
  • Engage customers in co-creation to enhance value and reduce risk.
  • Link design thinking to the established project-management processes of your organization with four key communication aids.
  • Develop your innovative abilities by quieting traditional critical reasoning, which breaks down ideas and finds flaws in them instead of building them up into something new.


  • Why Design Thinking?
  • The Design Process
  • The Design Tool Kit
  • Defining the Problem
  • Generating Deep Insights
  • Brainstorming and Concept Development
  • Co-creating With Customers
  • Prototyping New Concepts
  • Launching to Learn


  • Learn a step-by-step process and tool kit for enhancing your ability to see and execute on  profitable new opportunities.
  • Explore case studies of successful companies.
  • Gain hands-on experience working with your own project.

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  • Course Information

    21-24 April 2015

    Image for EE Register Here
    $7,750 covers materials, meals and accommodations at the Inn at Darden.

    Leaders who need a process for innovation and generating new possibilities for innovation and growth.

    Gain one week of credit toward a Certificate of Specialization.

    Darden School of Business
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    Additional Information:
    +1-434-924-3000 or contact the program director