Who should attend
Managers and executives eager to learn and implement new processes and tools of customer-centricity, both within their organizations as well as when they are in contact with their external customers and users of their products and services.
About the course
The business world of the 21st century is experiencing a dramatic shift. Reinforced by digitalization and a globalized competitive environment, companies have become aware of the necessity to better understand their customers and build lasting ties with them.
Markets are moving from the “technology push” to the “market pull”. Even the most traditional companies in the manufacturing industry have established innovation hubs to explore new business models and create customer journeys. With fewer barriers to entry, a new generation of entrepreneurs successfully disrupts the ecosystems of many industries by reacting more flexibly to their clients’ expectations. Design Thinking is one of the world‘s most popular methods of establishing a dynamic, customer-focused and goal-oriented innovation culture within the organization – for start-ups, SMEs and large corporations alike. With the methods of the Design Thinking approach, ideas can be improved within the entire corporate value chain, from internal process optimization and digitalization to customer contact in both the B2B and B2C areas.
However, even the most promising innovations often fail due to internal organizational resistance. Successful implementation requires a strategy that takes organizational complexity and power relations into account, a careful analysis of key stakeholders and their interests, as well as communication skills.
This workshop addresses these two challenges: innovation and its implementation within the organization. For the first time, HPI Academy and ESMT Berlin, two leading players in Germany’s executive education market, have united to combine their expertise in this hands-on workshop. While HPI Academy provides the high-level Design Thinking input for this three-day program, ESMT Berlin contributes its expertise in implementation and organizational change.
The workshop starts at the HPI Academy in Potsdam-Griebnitzsee, where participants get acquainted with the mindset of customer-centricity and methods of Design Thinking. Hands-on user research is undertaken, and participants practically apply Design Thinking techniques on internal and external challenges.
Day 2 of the workshop takes place at the ESMT Berlin Campus and focuses on sense-making and testing, including interaction with potential users and a joint networking event in the evening.
Day 3 is dedicated to strategies on how the implementation of new practices can be fostered and improved, and how an internal change process can be successfully initiated. A particular emphasis is placed on internal networking and appropriate communication strategies.
The workshop is based on an experiential, hands-on approach. Here, group work, real-life interviews, prototyping, and testing are core ingredients of the individual and collective learning process. In addition, the highly interactive design allows for intense networking and sharing of experiences in a setting of like-minded people facing similar challenges.
Participants learn principles of the Design Thinking and familiarize themselves with the major steps of this process: understanding the needs of internal and external customers and gaining empathy for them, conducting interviews, implementing creativity methods, as well as prototyping and testing.
Participants also enhance their ability to trigger changes in managerial practices of their firms, with practical advice how to establish networks of like-minded people and refine their communication skills to convince their peers across hierarchies.
Complemented by keynotes of external guest speakers, the program also enlarges the horizon of participants with up-to-date insights within the field of innovation and customer centricity.
- The changing landscape of innovation
- Applying Design Thinking methods in an internal or external challenge
- Conducting interviews with customers and stakeholders
- Communication techniques and tools for implementing organizational change
- Up-to-date insights on how to build coalitions of like-minded peers in the organizational context
- Gaining insights from users of products and services
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 ...
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...
Flavia Bleuel is a program manager & lead coach at the HPI Academy. She designs and moderates innovation formats for Professionals. She focusses on Desing Thinking project sprints, method deep dives as well as leadership development and implementation strategies. At the HPI School of Design T...
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