Columbia Business School

Design Thinking: Innovation Strategy for You and Your Organization

Available dates

Dec 10—12, 2019
3 days
New York, New York, United States
USD 6450
USD 2150 per day
Mar 31—Apr 2, 2020
3 days
New York, New York, United States
USD 6550
USD 2183 per day
Dec 7—9, 2020
3 days
New York, New York, United States
USD 6550
USD 2183 per day


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About the course

Design Thinking: Innovation Strategy for You and Your Organization is a collaboration between the Columbia Entrepreneurship Design Studio and Columbia Business School. Participants will learn how to use the methods and mindsets of design to drive customer-focused innovation in their own organizations.

Many innovation efforts in business stall because the organization loses touch with the core needs of their current and potential customers. Fortunately, human centered design can help organizations be much more responsive to the ever changing needs of customers. The methods and mindsets of design have a proven track record of driving innovation across multiple industries.

The Design Studio uses experiential learning to teach design techniques through repeated practice. Case studies of human centered design in action reinforce the core lessons. In this program you will learn by doing. First by engaging in two design projects, then by developing your own design project to bring back to your organization.


Design Thinking will teach you the basic skills needed to implement a design process in your organization. We focus on mastering our four-step process while learning a number of supporting design methods along the way.

By the end of the three days, participants will be able to:

  • Draw out key insights through customer interviews
  • Reframe complex problems into actionable challenges
  • Generate novel ideas through creative, collaborative brainstorming
  • Rapidly prototype and test new ideas
  • Evaluate the aspects of their work environment that support and hinder creative work
  • Lead teams through a creative process

Program Structure

Participants learn a human centered design process by working through two design projects. Each project is hands-on and team based. All participants will experience our four-step process: Explore, Reframe, Generate, and Prototype. The instructors introduce core design concepts through short lectures and case studies. The new methods are immediately put into action. The program concludes with participants scoping a design project to complete back at their organizations.

Day One: The day begins with a two-hour design project. This introduces the fundamental concepts and immerses participants into a style of working that promotes creative innovation. From there we launch the second design project, which runs until the end of day two. Participants form teams of three and begin step one of our design process—Explore. The teams will leave the design studio and conduct fieldwork in the city. When they return, instructors will guide the teams through the Reframe step where they will synthesize their fieldwork.

Day Two: The project continues as teams begin brainstorming potential solutions in the Generate step. They then select two or three ideas and build them out in the Prototype step. The solutions are tested with real users. After completing the four steps, we focus on creating a compelling story that richly describes the problem to be solved and how the current solution addresses that problem.

Day Three: The final day is all about taking it home. Instructors will share case studies illustrating how design can be used in organizational settings. Participants will learn how different work environments can support or hinder a design process. Finally, each participant will scope a short design project to be completed in their first week back at the office. The ultimate goal is to develop a design practice that continues beyond the three days of the workshop.

Who should attend

Design Thinking is ideal for executives who want drive innovation by deeply understanding their customers and rapidly testing ideas. These methods can be used in any industry or business model, including SaaS and B2B.

Trust the experts

Adam Royalty

“Companies are constantly trying to stay ahead of the innovation curve. One of the most actionable ways to do this is through human-centered design. This program will show you how to uncover and design for deep, unmet customer needs. A vital step for driving innovation.” – Adam Royalty, Founder C...


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Design Thinking: Innovation Strategy for You and Your Organization

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