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GIBS Business School

Strategy, Innovation and Design Thinking

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Strategically managing and leading in a new normal. The strategy and innovation landscape is significantly impacted by the global and local environment of business. External factors and shifts in the political, social, technological, demographic, legal and regulatory environments all have an impact on organisations and their ability to remain relevant, competitive and to grow. These shifts are further accelerated by the “age of disruption” – which the World Economic Forum titles the Fourth Industrial Revolution

This rapidly evolving external environment has resulted in a need to create more agility in key functional areas of the organisation. Organisations need to create a bench of leaders that have the skills to operate in this new normal.

The aim of this programme is to ensure that delegates are exposed to the latest developments and trends in the global and local economy especially with reference to dynamic markets and South Africa. The course also looks at competitiveness and the key levers of competitiveness individually, within the different sectors and nationally. The aim of this session is for delegates to understand the relationship between changes in the business environment and the need of a business to scan, understand and to innovatively respond to the changes.

Understanding the changes that will impact organisations is one element. The programme will use different learning tools to help leaders navigate the complex and rapidly evolving environment.

At the end of the programme, you will be able to:

Mapping out the global and local context:

  • Look at changing global dynamics and the link with various sectors;
  • Look at the key levers of competitiveness at an individual, company and country level;
  • Identify strategies on utilising global dynamics and changes for local impact;
  • Identify the latest innovations around the world in different sectors; and
  • Analyse global trends and the impact on delegates and the company.

The contextual setting:

  • Disruption and disintermediation in an array of sectors.
  • The future of banking, automotive, retail, insurance, telecommunications, tourism etc;
  • Who are your real competitors? Are you sure?
  • Building competitive advantage in a complex and hyper competitive landscape; and
  • How innovation is a key enabler for disruptive thinking in your organisation.

Design thinking is used as a tool:

  • Reframe our understanding of key organisational challenges and to use different approaches to addressing them;
  • Use empathy maps to better understand and appreciate the challenge;
  • Address assumptions and biases that often inhibit our ability to analyse, understand and respond to the way we craft competitive strategies; and
  • Incorporate elements of creativity and cognitive flexibility that delegates can use in their personal leadership journey.

Key focus areas:

  • The interplay between strategy, innovation and the local context:
  • Dissecting the new normal: Disruption and disintermediation;
  • Principles of design thinking;
  • Practicing design thinking through curated experiential learning;
  • Ideation sprint: Bringing our learnings together and applying them by addressing specific organisational challenges.

Who should attend

  • General managers, functional directors, executives, senior managers, heads of functional areas;
  • C-suite teams who are looking to design and implement competitive strategy and accelerate innovation strategy;
  • Senior executives are encouraged to bring thier teams with them to allow for implementation of the concepts and frameworks back in the workplace.


Global strategist, speaker and facilitator Having presented in over 60 cities globally, to 100’s of companies and organisations, Abdullah has been recognised as a leading dealmaker, strategist and thought leader on global trends, company competitiveness, strategy and on Frontier and Emerging Ma...


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