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Design Thinking: Driving Innovation

Design thinking is the newest and latest tool for catalyzing positive change through stronger, more creative leadership and innovation. By identifying emerging technologies that affect your organizations value chain, this program will help you answer a fundamental business question: how can I determine my customers’ needs and identify opportunities for meeting them?

Design Thinking is a creative method for uncovering previously unknown customer needs or problems. Rigorous experimentation is utilized to sift through the many possible solutions that are produced by rapid ideation. Following the prototyping process, the best ideas are combined to generate an execution-ready product or service

As business leaders are tasked more and more with improving the customer experience, initiating this kind of change momentum is more important than ever. Throughout this program, you will learn how to:

  1. Ideate new market opportunities.
  2. Prototype solutions that capitalize on those opportunities.
  3. Lead yourself and your organization through innovative change.

Upcoming Sessions

Join us for one of our upcoming sessions.

Who Should Attend?

  • Executives and senior leaders who work in turbulent environments, markets, or industries
  • Cross-functional business leaders who must innovate new products or services
  • Team lead or higher who is tasked with or concerned about product or service delivery
  • Senior leaders seeking to bridge technical and business gaps

What You Learn

  • The key stages of Design Thinking, including problem exploration, idea generation, and prototype development.
  • Tools to develop your Design Thinking skills, such as field investigation, brainstorming, idea generation, prototyping, presentation
  • Methods to link Design Thinking to change management and organizational structures
  • How to prepare your organization, business unit, department, or team for design thinking success

How You Learn

In addition to studying relevant case studies and scenarios, Ivey’s hands-on, experiential learning approach will coordinate participants into a series of teams. Each team will identify a technology that can be transformed into a market opportunity. Then, by employing the ideation process that participants have learned in class, each team will prototype viable solutions for a true Design Thinking experience.

If you are having a hard time imagining yourself in a classroom again, keep in mind that Ivey designs its Executive Education programs with busy leaders in mind. This engaging, interactive experience draws on the vast perspectives that you and your classmates bring to the program. Our real-world method of learning is not about textbooks and lectures – it’s about learning by doing. You’ll put yourself in the role of decision-maker and take on real challenges faced by real companies to gain practical hands-on experience. You’ll come away with new knowledge and ideas that are directly applicable to your business and that will have immediate impact.

Throughout the program, you will track your learning outcomes and pinpoint specific initiatives to implement. You leave knowing exactly how you will apply your new knowledge and skills, and a self-developed implementation plan to start your impact once back in the office.


Preparation and Background


Darren Meister

Faculty Director
Darren Meister

Darren Meister is the John M. Thompson Chair in Engineering Leadership and Innovation and an Associate Professor of General Management (Entrepreneurship and Innovation) at the Ivey Business School and the former Faculty Director of the HBA and MSc Programs. He is cross-appointed to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Western Engineering. His interests focus on design thinking, technology-based entrepreneurship and the role of technology in enhancing organizational effectiveness, specifically as it concerns innovation processes. His research work is conducted within companies in close cooperation with practitioners.

Through research and consulting opportunities, Darren has worked with Accenture, Bank of Montreal, Industry Canada, Intel, Nortel, and Siemens. His work has appeared in Management Science, MIS Quarterly and other leading journals and conferences. He is a past-Chair of the Special Interest Group on the Adoption and Diffusion of Information Technology, within the Association for Information Systems. He was also on the Executive Board of CEMS, the Global Alliance of Management Education.

Before joining Ivey, Darren taught at Queen's University and Carleton University, where he was one of the architects of an Information Systems concentration in the Bachelor of Commerce program. He has taught in all of Ivey's programs. He was a Rotary International Foundation scholar, attending the University of Cambridge. Subsequently, he earned his PhD at the University of Waterloo, Canada.


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Where You Learn

Ivey Tangerine Leadership Centre

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This state-of-the-art facility is located in the heart of Toronto’s Financial District and provides the perfect backdrop for executive courses.