Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation Leadership

Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation Leadership, Executive Training


The presented training is provided by Lund University and the Department of Design Sciences at the Faculty of Engineering. Collaborating with us means access to world-class knowledge and research in innovation, service design and design thinking. In this training Lund University presents a unique collaboration project for increasing innovation capability on individual as well as organizational level.


Design thinking for Strategic Innovation Leadership is focused on the connection between leadership and a strong capability to innovate, in fostering an organization with the ability to meet demanding and sometimes conflicting needs from existing and potential customers, in industries facing fierce competition.

The training encompasses design and development of both new products (goods and services) and new processes (technological and organizational), with a particular focus on methods, tools and strategies for the early phases of the innovation process.

Taking stance in needs defined in their particular business context, training participants will run a team based innovation project through a design thinking process gaining critical insights related to theories and practices of design thinking processes and methods within the topics of design thinking and strategic innovation leadership.

Major part of the training will be spent creating conceptual solution proposals and evaluating these with respect to three overlapping criteria; desirability, feasibility and viability. Teams are expected to practice insights gained throughout the training in their own projects outside training elements.

In addition to carrying out a project the participants get thorough training in team skills and team dynamics, as well as the personal leadership needed in order to strengthen the innovations skills.

The purpose with the training is hence twofold.

• To give participants a deepened understanding of how innovations of both technical and social character are created

• To strengthen the personal leadership and team skills needed in order to carry out innovation projects in large complex organizations


Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation Leadership offers leadership with a purpose, connecting personal as well as team leadership to critical steps of the different phases of innovation. The training aims at creating in depth understanding of and skills in innovation work through immersing in hands-on practical activities and projects rather than a more traditional management approach, which often consists of planning for innovation and managing others.

Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation Leadership is a linear training. In reality however innovation work is an iterative process. Going through an innovations process from identifying compelling insights that will inspire innovation, through ideation and implementation, potentially working in close collaboration with customers, consumers/users and other stakeholders is a very challenging task to undertake for individuals and teams. Insights gained through fast feedback loops help refining needs, improve ideation and strengthen the business potential. Throughout the training, participants can expect to experience the non-linear nature of high risk/high potential innovation projects. Self-leadership and team-skills to manage uncertainty and turn ambiguity into the very engine that drives the project forward play an important role throughout all training components.


In recent years design thinking has made its way into innovation and leadership in a large variety of industries and cultural settings. Sprung out of Stanford School and its surrounding design agencies, the cycle inspiration-ideation-implementation of design thinking is transforming the view of how to create successful innovations in adding true value through a human centric need and intention orientated work mode.

Firms in all industries today face complexities, uncertainties and ambiguity previously unheard of. Rather than leaning on more traditional management methods, the ability to innovate is becoming a corporate cultural challenge dependent on the ability of all employee contributions and strong organizational learning. Design thinking is sprung out of such "messy" environments, making it an ideal base for Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation Leadership.

Through completing Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation Leadership, participants will

• Gain critical insights about how to successfully run demanding innovation projects

• Acquire sets of concrete tools and proven methods to guide them in the different phases stages of innovation: need finding, ideation, and business concept building

• Get in depth understanding of and tools for how to manage one-self and others in challenging innovation work.


The Department of Design Sciences, representing areas like innovation strategy, service design and innovation, packaging logistics and design as well as social innovation/innovation for the lower part of the pyramid has a strong tradition of working closely with industry through cross disciplinary research projects and master theses. Our work is hence multi-disciplinary and well fitted for the complexity that a large mature company in an industry with fierce competition faces on a daily basis.

The tradition of working closely with the industry has created strong global networks. Guest lecturers from our extensive network and field trips to interesting and inspiring environments will play an important part of "Design Thinking for strategic Innovation Leadership".

As academy we are driven by curiosity, learning and creating knowledge. Throughout the training period we are keen to evaluate what we do and adapt the content based upon feedback from the participants.


Target group

Engineers, managers, middle-managers




Tailored to your location


Contact us for a tailored proposal and quotation.


Maria Flores,
Lund University Commissioned Education,
+46 46 222 14 61

Lund University Commissioned Education (LUCE) is Lund University's department for commissioned education and competence development for professionals. With the latest science as a base we develop and sell courses, programs and seminars in a close cooperation with organizations, companies and local, nationall and international authorities. Our educations are performed by teachers and scientists at Lund University - a guarantee for subject-related width, scientific depth and modern pedagogy. You're welcome to contact us for more information! Phone 046 - 222 0707 or send a mail to either or Lund University Commissioned Education Box 117, 221 00 Lund.