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Sauder School of Business

Driving Innovation Through Design Thinking

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Develop practical and innovative solutions for your business problems

Design Thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It revolves around developing an understanding of the people for whom we're designing the products or services. We use human-centered techniques to drive innovation and creativity to foster better business practices.

Offered by Executive Education HEC Montréal, this dynamic hands-on workshop explores the core principles of Design Thinking. In two days, you will understand the five phases of Design Thinking: 1. Empathize, 2. Define, 3. Ideate, 4. Prototype, 5. Test, and develop a powerful concrete approach to creating value.

What you will learn

  • Learn a practical approach to innovation, based on usage and prototyping
  • Experiment with the nuts and bolts of design thinking and its implementation in real-world applications
  • Become proficient in design thinking’s powerful innovation-oriented processes and methods

Program content

Day one:

  • Introduction to design thinking: The art and science of design thinking
  • Design thinking in action: The “gift”
  • Observe/understand: Empathize with clients/users of all kinds; what they say and what they feel
  • Visualize: Develop personas to tap into client/user experiences
  • Capture: Capitalize on insights and ideate
  • Do: Prototype ideas
  • Assess: Overcome the challenge of generating value
  • Recap: Surprising outcomes and success stories

Day two:

  • Share and persuade: Design of seducing/swaying
  • Presentations and discussions
  • Reconfigure: Implementing design thinking in an organization
  • Lead: Staging of the “design” moment
  • Pilot: Leadership and management for continuous innovation

Special features

This course presents a hands-on, highly effective approach to innovation, with a focus on collaboration and concrete problem solving.

Who should attend

This course is for managers and professionals responsible for innovation initiatives.


Niels Billou is an experienced business consultant. The recipient of numerous international awards, he has rolled out various executive programs to promote innovation, design thinking and entrepreneurship, which he has shared with top multinationals around the world, including Bosch-Siemens, IBM ...
EDUCATION D.E.S.C. (management), Rouen M. Sc. (gestion), HEC Montréal Ph. D. (administration), HEC Montréal EXPERTISE Management Management, new technologies and knowledge economy Project managemen CURRENT RESEARCH Large firms, communities and creative cities


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