Design Thinking Online Workshop


Position yourself as a forward-thinking leader in your organization and learn the step-by-step process for solving your most pressing challenges. Bring your own messy problem to the Design Thinking Online Workshop and leave with a plan to implement fresh ideas.


This introduction to the design thinking process asks you to identify a human-centered problem to solve and begin as designers do - with the here-and-now needs, desires and behaviors of those who need innovation the most. Led by Darden professor Jeanne Liedtka, this program is designed to give you the leadership tools to broaden and deepen your work and to teach you the how-to of design thinking. A unique aspect of your online experience includes access to our mentors, veteran participants of our design thinking programs who will facilitate conversation and provide guidance during the course.

You'll craft and carry out a research plan that answers the question "What is?" and follow a guided process of gathering and identifying important insights about the needs and wants of others. You'll use this information to identify the attributes of an ideal solution and hear stories of design thinking at work to inspire ideas for moving your organization forward. 

Then, by asking "What if?" you'll follow Professor Liedtka's disciplined — and different — approach to creative brainstorming, and consider a spectrum of possibilities and use the best ideas to generate solutions to your challenge. Next, you'll ask "What wows?" This critical analysis considers the needs of your stakeholders and your organization, and project feasibility to find the best intersection of potentials. Finally, you'll focus on "What works?" by bringing your ideas face-to-face with stakeholders. 

Throughout the process, you will share questions, complete assignments, give and get feedback from your peers and follow real-time insights from practicing designers in class forums.


This program is conducted entirely online over the course of eight weeks. Each week, participants should expect to spend approximately five to eight hours viewing instructional videos and completing field work, readings, assignments, and peer evaluations. This course uses the text The Designing for Growth Field Book: A Step by Step Project Guide. An electronic version is available at a 50% discount through Columbia University Press, coupon code D4GFB-DTIPS.

For the course to be completely successful, participants should maintain respectful communication with the faculty and fellow participants and comply with all applicable rules, instructions, requirements and terms of service. 


  • The ability to work better with fewer resources by leading a lean research process that sparks creative innovation
  • A toolbox of skills to systematically research key markets and pinpoint the territories with highest potential for innovation, evaluate failure intelligently and harness breakthroughs to propel company growth or social good
  • First-hand knowledge and practical application examples from veteran designers
  • A deeper understanding of how exactly to identify, map out and research business and social situations
  • Stronger creative muscles to help you solve work and life challenges
  • New perspectives on in-market experiments that save time and resources while revealing smarter outcomes
  • A tested solution to your real-life problem that speaks directly to the unique needs of your target audience 
This course helped demystify Design Thinking, providing a flexible and actionable framework for just about every project I am working on.
Mylene Ong, Head of Strategy, Colenso BBDO


Designed for managers who want to explore the principles of design thinking and how a human-centered approach to innovation can transform their organization, this course will benefit organizational leaders from the public and private sectors, including those in finance, engineering, technology and administration, as well as healthcare, education and social nonprofit causes.


United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration  

Jeanne M. Liedtka is the former chief learning officer at United Technologies Corporation, a Fortune 50 corporation, where she was responsible for overseeing corporate learning and development. At Darden, Jeanne works with both MBAs and executives in the areas of design thinking, innovation and leading growth. Her current research focuses on design-led innovation in the government and social sector, as does her recent book, Designing for the Greater Good. She authored The Designing for Growth Field Book: A Step by Step Guide (2014), The Catalyst: How You Can Lead Extraordinary Growth, which was one of Bloomberg Businessweek' s best innovation books of 2009; Designing for Growth, which was named the best management book of 2011 by 800-CEO-READ; and Solving Problems with Design Thinking: 10 Stories of What Works.


Tuition for this course is $700. Payment is required in advance of the program and is not refundable or transferable after the start of the program.

By taking this course, participants earn two credits toward the Specialization in Design Thinking and Innovation. If you register now for the Design Thinking Online Workshop and the two additional courses to finish the specialization, you're receive the last two courses for $500 total.

SPECIAL OFFER: Darden Executive Education is offering a bundle price of $1,200 for the online courses that make up the 4-credit Specialization in Design Thinking and Innovation. The Design Thinking Online Workshop counts as two credits toward the specialization, so you will just need to complete Discovery Tools and Creating the Innovative Workplace. To qualify for the bundle pricing, you must pre-register for all three courses by 4 June 2018. To take advantage of the bundle pricing or if you have any questions, please contact Brandi Shifflett (

Please note specific rules and policies for this promotion:

  • No refunds, including any online courses previously taken
  • Registration is required for all three courses at once for the special pricing to apply
  • All three courses must be completed by October 2018. We recommend you take Creating the Innovative Workplace and Discovery Tools in September.


Registration: You can register completing a registration form directly from this course page. Payment is due upon registration. We accept payment online from American Express, MasterCard and Visa. You'll receive a confirmation email after we receive your registration. Registration closes on the course start date. 

Cancellations & Transfers: If you must cancel your enrollment, you must do so within seven (7) calendar days of the course start date. Please email us with the name of the course, followed by "cancellation" in the subject line. If you cancel or withdraw within seven (7) days of the start date, you will be refunded 100% of your tuition. No refunds will be permitted after the first seven (7) days of the course.

Access to Course Materials: The course is designed to run for eight (8) weeks. We'll leave the course open for a full ten (10) weeks. Once a course is closed, you will not be able to access our lectures and course materials, information pages, or assignments (including peer feedback). You may continue to access your network, submissions, discussions, conversations, and team workspace in archive mode (no new posts or comments) for up to six (6) months.

For more information, review a complete list of our online course policies and procedures, as well as frequently asked questions.