Faculty & Research

Jeanne M. Liedtka

Jeanne M. Liedtka, United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration

  • BS, Boston University; MBA, Harvard University; DBA, Boston University
Office: FOB 152
Phone: +1-434-924-1404
E-mail: LiedtkaJ@darden.virginia.edu

Biography

Jeanne M. Liedtka is a faculty member at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business and former chief learning officer at United Technologies Corporation, where she was responsible for overseeing all activities associated with corporate learning and development for the Fortune 50 corporation, including executive education, career development processes, employer-sponsored education and learning portal and web-based activities.

At Darden, where she formerly served as associate dean of the MBA program and as executive director of the Batten Institute, Jeanne works with both MBAs and executives in the areas of design thinking, innovation and leading growth. Her passion is exploring how organizations can engage employees at every level in thinking creatively about the design of powerful futures.

Her most recent books are: The Catalyst; How You Can Lead Extraordinary Growth (winner of the Business Week best innovation books of 2009); Designing for Growth: A design thinking tool kit for managers (winner of the 1800 CEO READ best management book of 2011); and The Physics of Business Growth. She has a new book in 2013, Solving Business Problems with Design Thinking: Ten Stories of What Works as well as a field guide to accompany Designing for Growth, forthcoming in January, 2014.

Expertise

Leading Growth
Design Thinking
Corporate Innovation

MBA Courses

Corporate Innovation and Design Experience
Strategy as Design (Barcelona GBE)
Strategic Thinking

Executive Education Courses

Drive Business Growth and Innovation: Mindsets, Behaviors and Tools
Design Thinking

About Design Thinking

Design thinking is a hot topic today in the business world. Managers are urged to follow the mindset and approaches of designers to develop innovative products, processes, and business models that can fuel growth and differentiate companies in crowded markets.

But for all the noise this trend has generated, and for all the attention given to the likes of Apple and P&G—perhaps the most widely touted examples of organizations that have transformed themselves around design principles—design thinking has not been easy to pin down. For all those business managers for whom design thinking seems something of a mystery, Darden professor Jeanne Liedtka and Peer Insight cofounder and CEO Tim Ogilvie offer some encouraging words: If you’re a leader of innovation in any kind of organization, they claim, you’ve probably been practicing design thinking all along.

In Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers (Columbia University Press, June 2011), Liedtka and Ogilvie demystify design thinking by laying it out as a coherent, systematic problem-solving process and introducing managers in a wide variety of companies who have used design thinking to grow their businesses. If CPAs can learn how to use this approach, the authors argue, anyone can.