Harvard Business School Online is announcing a new certificate course taught by Srikant Datar, Dean of Harvard Business School, called Design Thinking and Innovation. The course will help leaders be more inventive and creative in their approach to strategic initiatives and problem-solving.

Datar, the George F. Baker Professor of Administration, has held many leadership roles at Harvard Business School and Harvard University during his more than 25 years on the faculty, including serving as chair of the Harvard Innovation Labs. He became dean in January 2021.

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According to Datar, “Entrepreneurial leaders must prioritize experimentation and constant iteration to effectively solve business problems in a consumer-centric way. I hope this course helps business leaders think more creatively, so they’re better positioned to achieve the highest levels of success for themselves and their organizations.”

Design Thinking and Innovation is designed for professionals at all levels of management and will teach them entrepreneurial design thinking principles and cognitive frameworks they can leverage to guide their organizations through strategic development and complex business challenges. The course uniquely combines design thinking with structured approaches to ideation—such as task unification, subtraction, and attribute dependency—to help learners break common mental blocks to creativity and refine their innovations’ attributes to better match customer value propositions. It will help learners build stronger strategies, products, and teams, and create an optimal environment to inspire innovation and collaboration.

“We’re delighted that Dean Datar has chosen to create this course, and we know our learners will gain tremendously from the innovative approach he brings to research and his wide-ranging experience,” says HBS Online Executive Director Patrick Mullane. “It’s particularly exciting because innovation in online education is one of his most important priorities in leading HBS in this new era.”

In Design Thinking and Innovation, professionals will learn how to:

  • Approach problems using structured approaches for gathering observations, breaking cognitive fixedness, and generating ideas for solutions
  • Apply creative problem-solving and behavior-change analysis to innovation development and internal team processes
  • Develop a strategic innovation toolkit and learn when and how to apply design thinking and innovative problem-solving tools and exercises
  • Practice empathy in applying human-centered design techniques, such as user research, prototyping, and journey mapping
  • Assess group dynamics and improve team performance through tools and processes designed to enhance collaboration and iteration in development
  • Guide teams to draw from a wide range of professional experiences and backgrounds and create stronger collaboration dynamics to heighten innovation
Design Thinking and Innovation | Uncover creative solutions to your business problems | Learn more

Learners in all HBS Online courses immerse themselves in a unique learning model, which encourages debate and collaboration with hundreds of learners from around the world. Together, they solve real business problems and engage in an ongoing series of interactive exercises, including polls, quizzes, short essays, and even role-playing with fellow participants. Design Thinking and Innovation includes five weeks of coursework and two weeks of project work to allow participants to collaborate with their peers from around the world and put their learnings into practice.

Applications for Design Thinking and Innovation will be accepted through January 10, 2022, and the course will begin on January 19, 2022.

To learn more about this seven-week course and to apply, visit the Design Thinking and Innovation page.