The Design Thinking MBA: Become The Change Agent Every Organizations Needs

“Design can help to improve our lives in the present. Design thinking can help us chart a path into the future.” -Tim Brown President & CEO of IDEO

The landscape of the business world is changing. Companies now require a new framework to approach innovative solutions. The World University of Design is addressing this reality with its Design Strategic & Management MBA, a unique graduate program that prepares students for enhanced professional success by fusing analytical business intelligence with the creative problem-solving skills gained from design thinking.

Today everything is dynamic. Each new emerging situation requires a new skill-set to meet the challenge. Today’s working generation needs to recoup and catch up with the incoming generation. Executive education plays an important role in that case. Investing in the right Executive education is the need of the hour & of the future. 

Employers are increasingly looking for the ability to adapt to changing market needs and expectations alongside intellectual rigor, in the people they employ. They may be small, nimble start-ups, or longstanding traditional businesses who see younger, more dynamic competitors challenging them. The future belongs to the innovative. Large corporations are dying every day, not because they did something wrong, but because they did not innovate. Innovation relies on the power of the human mind to connect the dots to maneuver through any emergent situation. Firms are adopting new business practices, and a new buzzword has entered the business-school lexicon: design thinking.

Instead of the traditional, rational, analytical approach that prioritizes business’ bottom line, design thinking puts customers’ best interests at the centre of problem-solving. It aims to incorporate a creative thinking process and the approach of a start-up. 

But Design thinking is not merely achieved via that one little workshop done in your office with post-its and colored markers. Design thinking is a process and needs to be understood and learned in a given period of time via the perfect methodologies that lead to developing this thinking in an individual. WUD’s Design Strategic & Management Executive MBA program has at its core subjects like Innovation capacity building, Strategy formulation, Digitization, along with the traditional management subjects. This program provides the context that is very much needed for design thinking and innovation capacity building. 

WUD’s Executive MBA program takes its insights from hybrid thinkers in fields such as business, finance, design, product development, fashion design and social work who want to enhance their skills to seek opportunities with major corporations, nonprofits or entrepreneurial ventures. The program is at the intersection of creativity and strategy, connecting the best of business school to the best of design schools. The classes and the concepts offered on WUD’s MBA and Executive MBA differ significantly from the traditional MBA programme. Teaching is more experiential, with MBAs learning by doing, rather than wading through hours upon hours of theory. Students are encouraged to incorporate thinking across disciplines, to undertake more ethnographic studies and less quantitative analysis, learning richer detail about their target audience.

The Executive MBA program has been developed by experienced academicians and industry people and offered in a flexible and blended learning format. One can follow the program while continuing to work. The program particularly looks forward to bridging the gap within generic management streams with the Design & innovation processes that every organization needs to manage change. The course is designed to be future proof, as the future belongs to Design & Innovation. It creates that magic person who can handle both the creative side & management side of the processes, and which every company is looking for.

Learning this program in the World University of Design is a unique experience as WUD is the hub of Design Education in the country with all possible design and creativity courses already running successfully under the same umbrella as the MBA programs. This unique pedagogy allows management graduates to learn the psyche of designers and design processes easily. Design thinking is a major tenet of each of WUD’s undergraduate and graduate curricula, as is incorporating real-world problem-solving through intensive industry collaborations. 

By the end of the program, graduates will be confident enough to make faster, better decisions in the face of uncertainty; Be comfortable with placing strategic bets using both intuition and data; Be more customer-centric by understanding the basic approaches from ethnographic research, identify latent customer needs; Communicate how design thinking tools connect with business strategy, specifically the Play to Win framework; Ideate and prototype iteratively to develop new products and experiences; Learn from examples of success and failures from some of the world's leading innovation organizations; and Apply these concepts in order to drive innovation in their own organization.

This article was published in BW Education issue dated 'Nov. 20, 2018' with cover story titled 'BW Education Issue Nov-Dec 2018'

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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