Being Agile and Entrepreneurial: Ideation Workshop


How long?

  • 2 days
  • in person



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Who should attend

Managers who believe their teams have the potential to be more creative and who seriously want to listen to their customers as well as generate new ideas that fulfill their customers’ needs. Managers who believe that each step toward a more innovative organization starts with their own initiative, and who want to learn how processes can become leaner and more efficient in their organizational implementation.

Representative job titles of former participants include:

  • Digital Business Consultant,
  • Head of Fleets Sales,
  • Head of Leadership and Management Programs,
  • Manager,
  • Owner,
  • Partner,
  • Principal
  • Owne

About the course

As a customer-centric, hands-on approach to innovation, Design Thinking methods have succeeded in large companies and are now gaining traction in mediumsized enterprises, NGOs, and governmental institutions as well. In the first phase of the workshop, as part of small groups, participants will apply Design Thinking methods to explore, define, prototype, and test their innovations. They will conduct real-life interviews with potential customers/users and pitch their innovations in front of their peers. The second phase of the Being Agile program will focus on the implementation and scaling of innovations. Participants will use their group’s innovation project to become acquainted with the Business Model Canvas in order to move from prototype to market rollout. Participants will familiarize themselves with the basic principles of the agile methodology Scrum, which was originally developed for software programming teams to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. In one iteration of a so-called Scrum sprint, participants will experience why this method has become so popular among organizations. The workshop concludes with a session that allows participants to individually and collectively reflect upon which methods could be transferable to their teams, units, or companies.

What You Learn?

Every innovation starts with a good idea. Design Thinking is a customer-centric, hands-on but structured approach to innovation that has experienced widespread diffusion among companies. In the workshop, participants will get to know each step of the Design Thinking process and will sequentially experience the process facing a real-life ideation challenge. In the second part of the module, participants will have to test their ideas in experiments to make their innovative ideas succeed in the marketplace. Based on the Lean Startup methodology introduced by Eric Ries - Build, Measure, Learn – the module also provides the basis for hypothesis-driven experimentation and validated learning. Participants practice developing formal hypotheses and how to assess results against their hypotheses in order to decide whether they can develop a viable business around their digital product or service ideas.

This module will be practical, experiential and interactive, as well as fun and inspirational. Participants will conduct real-life interviews and develop their prototypes in small, interdisciplinary groups to create a maximum diversity of ideas and inspiration.

  • Learn the basic principles and steps of the Design Thinking process.
  • Learn how to incorporate customer-centric innovation into teams and organizations.
  • Implement innovation using both the “Business Model Canvas” as well as “Scrum”.
  • Conduct real-life interviews with potential customers/ users and pitch innovation in front of peers.Owner,

Day 1 (ESMT) – Ideation with Design Thinking: The six steps of the Design Thinking process – Understand, Observe, Point of View, Ideate, Prototype, Test – show participants how to implement this new form of innovation in their own companies; ideate and innovate; work on a concrete new business proposal

Day 2 – (41North) Basic principles of the Lean Startup: The difference between traditional methods and Lean Startup; Lean Startup concepts, principles, and terminology; the Build-Measure-Learn loop to get faster feedback from product experiments; innovation ecosystem to create a safe working environment and innovation accounting for product development

Key Topics:

  • Getting familiar with and apply the different tools and methods of the six steps of Design Thinking and Lean start-up
  • Practice developing formal hypotheses
  • Assessing results against their hypotheses for decision making

Key Benefits:

  • Learning how to implement new forms of innovation in their own companies
  • Learn to get faster feedback from product experiments
  • Learn to create safe working environment for innovation teams

How You Learn?

The workshop is a practical hands-on exercise that enriches the participants’ options for stimulating innovation within their organizations. They will learn the six steps of the Design Thinking process – understand, empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test – and will participate in a short pitch- training. They will apply the Business Model Canvas and, within groups, will observe how the agile methodology Scrum can enhance the implementation process.


  • Hands-on workshop on real life challenge with exercises, experiments and interactive elements
  • Short inputs
  • Benchmarks
  • Working in small teams


Bianca Schmitz

Bianca Schmitz is a program director and head of international executive education relationships at ESMT Berlin. She is responsible for establishing new international cooperations with other business schools, institutions or networks, such as the Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM) or ...

Jens Weinmann

Before joining ESMT Berlin, Jens Weinmann was project manager of the Market Model Electric Mobility, a research project financed by the German environmental ministry (BMU). From 2007 to 2009, he worked as manager at the economic consultancy ESMT Competition Analysis. Further consulting experience...

Umut Ekmekci

Specialized in creative thinking and innovation management. In addition to his academic position,he serves as mentor, consultant and trainer to firms from various different business sectors. His works focuses upon three pillars of innovation; (1) Designing corporate innovation systems and their c...

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Being Agile and Entrepreneurial: Ideation Workshop at ESMT

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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