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Harvard Business School

Reimagining Strategy: Applying Design Thinking to Your Organization

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Next dates

Feb 19—22, 2020
4 days
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
USD 10000
USD 2500 per day


Design thinking is a powerful tool for rethinking and revitalizing strategy—and for driving organizational performance. By placing customers' needs at the center of a product, service, process, or business model, you can reframe strategic challenges and develop more effective solutions. Drawing on right-brained creativity and left-brained analytics, this design thinking program enables you to broaden your strategic perspective, find novel opportunities for innovation, and keep your business moving forward.

Key Benefits

Led by HBS professors Cynthia A. Montgomery and Srikant M. Datar, Reimagining Strategy explores strategy through a new lens. As you apply the latest design thinking techniques and tools to the complex problems facing your organization, you will foster a culture of creative change, spark breakthrough innovation, and boost your company's competitive advantage.


Move quickly to develop innovative solutions

  • Practice systematic inventive thinking (SIT) to overcome functional and relational immobility
  • Create models and deploy rapid prototyping to explore complex problems

Build design thinking capabilities

  • Tolerate risk and failure in order to boost creative thinking—and promote learning
  • Foster a culture of creative critique and openness to change
  • Create design-thinking practices core to your strategic approach

Consider the needs of end users in every strategic decision

  • Build empathy with end users by observing their behavior and drawing conclusions based on qualitative information
  • Ensure that business decisions are driven by the user as you consider innovations in business models, products, services, or processes

Expand your personal and professional network

  • Extend your network by living and working with accomplished executives from various backgrounds, industries, and countries across the globe
  • Build relationships with a diverse group of peers who can provide wide-ranging insights into your business challenges and career decisions

What You Will Learn

Throughout this design strategy course, you and your peers will dive into the methodology of design thinking and explore its applications to business strategy. Through a rich learning experience that includes faculty presentations, case studies, small-group workshops, discussions, and hands-on exercises, you will expand your perspective on strategic issues, discover ways to redesign your organization's strategy, and learn how to apply design thinking to drive and sustain business success.

Key Areas

Understanding the innovation process

  • Gaining a big-picture view of the innovation process
  • Defining creativity and its essential role in innovation
  • Building the foundation and structure for innovation success

Exploring human-centered design

  • Identifying and understanding what customers need and want in a product, service, or process
  • Understanding who your target users are and how to reach them
  • Examining techniques for achieving deep customer understanding

Discovering areas of opportunity

  • Overcoming barriers to innovation through problem framing
  • Identifying problem frames using webbing, abstract ladders, and strategy frameworks
  • Opening up new paths of thinking, redefining problems, and finding areas of opportunity

Generating innovative ideas

  • Exploring new approaches to innovative thinking and techniques for idea generation
  • Examining the tools of Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT), including task unification, division, attribute dependency, and inversion
  • Applying methods of structured ideation, such as the Nominal Group Technique, Round Robin, Creative Matrix, and Alternate Worlds

Developing concepts

  • Focusing on the critical role that prototyping, experimenting, and iteration play in developing ideas
  • Understanding how failed experiments can reveal new options and lead to better final outcomes
  • Examining methods of prototyping, such as wire framing, body storming, think-aloud testing, and simulation
  • Exploring attribute-value mapping, design heuristics, concept poster, rose-thorn-bud, and critique

Who should attend

This design thinking course is appropriate for C-suite leaders and other senior executives who play a key role in the formulation and execution of strategy within their organizations, such as:

  • Presidents, chief executive officers, chief operating officers, and chief financial officers
  • Heads of business units, divisions, regions, or functions
  • Managing director, general manager, and director

Attendance by multiple company representatives will foster teamwork and amplify the program’s impact on the organization. An executive team should include at least one C-suite executive and other senior executives.


Professor Montgomery''s research centers on strategy and corporate governance. Of particular interest are the unique roles leaders play in developing and implementing strategy; the means organizations use to create value across multiple lines of business; and issues related to corporate boards of...
Srikant M. Datar is the Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor of Business Administration, Faculty Chair of the Harvard Innovation Lab, HBS One Harvard Faculty Fellow, and Senior Associate Dean for University Affairs at Harvard Business School. A graduate with distinction from the University of Bombay,...


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