Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation

Develop innovative alternatives to address strategic business problems

Explore the role of creativity and apply the principles of design thinking to make better decisions. Discover how innovation can power your organization's strategies and business models.

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Presented by a collaboration of the SDG Decision Education Center and our academic partner, Texas Executive Education at The University of Texas, Austin

  • Description
  • Instructors
  • Earn a Certificate
  • CEU

Innovation is one of the strongest levers for growth in business organizations. Identifying such opportunities is a key business process. But it’s not enough to use design thinking to bring new alternatives to the table. Leading organizations understand how to generate more and better alternatives and how to evaluate their likelihood of successful implementation. Participants in this program will be introduced to a new model for evaluating innovation and linking it directly to business value. The process recognizes and depends not only on creative ideation but also on the practical experience of those involved in implementation, engaging together in a cycle of refinement to bring forward the most promising ideas with a clear understanding of the primary drivers of risk and value for any new venture. This program allows participants to learn tools and techniques and then immediately apply them through a case exercise woven throughout the program.


  • Identify hurdles to your own individual creativity and look at problems in new ways
  • Analyze unmet needs and areas of opportunity that, if solved, could bring value to all stakeholders
  • Think broadly about problem definition, overcome constraints placed on teams too early in the problem-solving process and consider options from various points of view
  • Apply design thinking to a diverse set of strategic problems, such as defining new markets, shaping corporate strategy, and transforming your organization
  • Look outside the traditional boundaries of the issues to understand business opportunities and perspectives in other parts of the industry
  • Utilize a methodology to identify and separate constraints and tactical issues from the strategic questions that require your focus
  • Generate multiple alternative solutions for addressing customers’ unmet needs
  • Explore an Innovation Competency Cycle that nurtures the open-ended nature of creativity and leverages the practical nature of business analysis
  • Discover techniques for iterative learning and idea sharing, as well as a process and rationale for working on the most valuable or difficult parts of a problem first
  • Examine several well-known innovative companies and how they have encouraged innovation
  • Synthesize and present the implications of your chosen alternative, describing your vision, why end-users and the business should be excited by the concept, and how it addresses the company’s most critical value measures
  • Discuss how to implement the Innovation Competency Cycle within your organization and explore how to overcome the most common structural and cultural obstacles you may encounter

Prerequisites: None

Delivery Options
  • At UT Austin
  • Online (coming soon)
  • At your workplace



Liz Rogers
Liz Rogers is a design lecturer at the University of Texas with the Center for integrated Design. She has over 16 years of experience working in the design industry, most recently at IBM, where she works as a senior design researcher, helping product teams design compelling products and experiences based on a deep understanding of user needs, motivations, and behaviors.

Carl Spetzler
Carl Spetzler has helped top business leaders over 40 years to create innovative new strategies that deal with the complexities of uncertainty and risk over long time horizons. CEO and Chairman of Strategic Decisions Group, he is the lead author of Decision Quality: Value Creation from Better Business Decisions (Wiley, 2016).

The Strategic Decision and Risk Management Certificate Program provides executives and mid-career professionals with the concepts and advanced knowledge to make high-quality decisions and embrace risk and uncertainty for competitive advantage. The certificate is a recognition that you have the advanced skills to lead decision making in your organization. Earn the SDRM certificate by completing six 2½-day classes.

SDG is pleased to collaborate with The University of Texas at Austin to offer the SDRM certificate.

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This course is ideal for those seeking continuing education units (CEUs) or continuing professional education units (CPEs) to maintain or advance your professional skills. Participants earn 1.75 CEUs and/or 17.5 CPEs for this course.



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