Design Thinking Part II: Ideas to Action

Digital Course

Design Thinking Part II: Ideas to Action

To capitalize on the promise of design thinking, you must do the exciting work that follows inspiration: developing ideas quickly and broadly, testing them for viability in relevant contexts, and bringing them to market.


In Design Thinking Part II: Ideas to Action, you'll develop the ideas you sourced in Part I* and transform them into powerful actions. To capitalize on the promise of design thinking, you must do the exciting work that follows inspiration: developing ideas quickly and broadly, testing them for viability in relevant contexts, and bringing them to market. You'll also have access to Darden-trained mentors to help you every step of the way on your design thinking journey. Expect to focus 5-8 hours per week on coursework during this five-week course.

*Please note that Part I of the course is required in order to take Part II.

Intended For

Team Leader, Senior Management



Available Dates

6 Jan - 9 Feb 2020
17 Feb - 22 Mar 2020






4 Weeks

Program Overview

Armed with the right challenge and a deep understanding of its context, you'll begin this course, Design Thinking Part II, by asking "What if?" You'll follow Professor Liedtka's disciplined - and different - approach to creative brainstorming, you'll consider a spectrum of possibilities and use the best ideas to generate solutions to your challenge. Next, you'll ask "What wows?" This critical analysis considers the needs of your stakeholders and your organization, and project feasibility to find the best intersection of potentials. Finally, you'll focus on "What works?" by bringing your ideas face-to-face with stakeholders. 

Throughout the process, you will share questions, complete assignments, give and get feedback from your peers and follow real-time insights from practicing designers in class forums.

Accelerate your skills.

  • Get viable results using a new, disciplined approach to creative brainstorming
  • Develop inventive ideas into business-ready concepts
  • Refine high-potential ideas and bring them into action in the workplace and the world
  • Practice efficient growth strategies from the world of lean, design-focused entrepreneurs

Course Format

This program is conducted entirely online over the course of four weeks. Each week, participants should expect to spend approximately five to eight hours viewing instructional videos and completing field work, readings, assignments and peer evaluations. This course uses the text The Designing for Growth Field Book: A Step by Step Project Guide. An electronic version is available at a 50% discount through Columbia University Press, coupon code D4GFB-DTIPS.

For the course to be completely successful, participants should maintain respectful communication with the faculty and fellow participants and comply with all applicable rules, instructions, requirements and terms of service.


You'll walk away from Design Thinking Part II: Ideas to Action with:

  • The ability to do more with less, to align and lead teams through a lean, efficient and vetted process for creative innovation
  • A toolbox of skills to make small bets fast, evaluate failure intelligently and harness breakthroughs to propel company growth or social good
  • New perspectives on in-market experiments that save time and resources while revealing smarter outcomes
  • A tested solution to your real-life problem that speaks directly to the unique needs of your target audience 


This experiential conclusion to Professor Liedtka's design thinking process benefits public and private sector leaders alike, including those in finance, engineering, technology and administration, as well as healthcare, education and social nonprofit causes.

Prior participation in Design Thinking Part I: Insights to Inspiration is required to enroll in this next-level course.


By taking this course, participants earn credit toward the Specialization in Design Thinking and Innovation.


Jeanne M. Liedtka

Jeanne M. Liedtka

United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration, Senior Associate Dean for Degree Programs



Design Thinking Part I: Insights to Inspiration

Identify a human-centered problem that you would like to solve. Gather and identify important insights about the needs and wants of others, and use this information to identify the attributes of an ideal solution.

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Darden Executive Education is provided by the University of Virginia
Darden School Foundation.