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Weatherhead School of Management

Manage by Designing: Approaches for Everyday Innovation

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Description

Every day, managers have opportunities to improve their organizations by creating and remaking processes, structures, products, and services. To excel at this, they need to expand on their roles as analysts and decision-makers to become competent as designers.

This program introduces managers to the principles of “design,” a powerful skill set for flexible thinking and innovation, based on groundbreaking research by Dr. Fred Collopy and his colleagues in the Weatherhead School of Management’s Department of Information Systems. Although managers’ skills as designers often determine the success or failure of their organizations, we give relatively little attention to developing design skills. When managers do study designing, they learn to reframe problems, to sketch and prototype their ideas, and to apply the logic of possibilities to see through default situations. Managers are already deeply engaged in designing as part of their everyday work. This program builds on their success, helping managers contribute to their organizations at a new level through design thinking, design skills, and design experiences.

Topics

The potential of designing in management

The myths of innovation and how to encourage real innovation

Why a design attitude

  • Contrasts with a decision attitude
  • Values practicality, ingenuity, empathy, and appropriateness
  • Differs from both art and science
  • Aids in developing specific design thinking skills

How design thinking skills enable leaders to

  • Reframe problems to make them solvable
  • Use sketching to help others see their ideas clearly
  • Maintain multiple models of complex ideas
  • Avoid attachment, rigid processes, and other traps to solving ill-structured problems
  • Structure design situations to take advantage of opportunities

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, participants will:

  • Understand which problems are most likely to benefit from design
  • Learn to apply design models to get started on ill-structured problems
  • Practice reframing problems
  • Avoid common pitfalls that limit creative solutions
  • Learn to balance competing tensions in a design problem

Who should attend

Managers across all functional areas.

Experts

Professor of Design and Innovation Fred Collopy received his PhD in decision sciences from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Collopy studies the design process and uses these insights to design information tools for managers. He also conducts research in the application of de...
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