Learning to be Like Apple, Nike, Starbucks, Nokia, P&G and Other Creative Companies at Stanford.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on April 7, 2006

Design schools such as the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford are increasingly the place for CEOs and top managers to send execs to learn how to be innovative and creative. Check out this new course at Stanford given by Diego Rodriquez, one of the columnists on the Innovation & Design site.

Let me quote from the course description:
“Project teams will be composed of master’s students from diverse disciplines including engineering, design, business, the behavioral sciences, and education.

Learning how to become a better design thinker will be a major focus of this course. Students will apply the “build to think” philosophy of the d.school and create prototypes of everything from viral marketing campaigns to entire businesses.”

In an Age of Innovation, where a great Talent Shift is under way, this is what companies need their managers and employees to do.

Reader Comments

Chas Martin

April 7, 2006 6:40 PM

Stanford has invoked "The Medici Effect." In Frans Johansson's book of the same name, he explains how intersections of concepts, culture and ideas create an environment for breakthroughs. The title of the book references the Medici family, bankers of renaissance era Florence, who hbasically funded one of the greatest waves of creativity ever. Artists from many disciplines and geographic locations converged on one city. Each had the opportunity to share, collaborate, compete and observe the work of the other's. The intersection of divergent ideas and cultures was the key.
Dan Pink, in "A Whole New Mind," also identifies the necessity of mixing things up to achieve fresh thinking. For years, "creativity" was delegated to a select few, who were often regarded with moderate suspicion - the value of their contribution always somewhat disposable. Now, with innovation appearing as the great salvation of every organization on the planet, the challenge becomes how it should be measured?
The renaissance didn't appear to have that left brain constraint. I believe it is time for the rebirth of creativity to begin...again.

Ted Mininni

April 11, 2006 3:34 PM

A balanced approach to branding and building design strategies will become a determining factor to future success in corporate business. For the skeptics among us who don’t think so, there is currently a trend among some of the nation’s leading B schools to add elective design and creative thinking courses into their MBA curricula: Harvard, Georgetown, U.C. Berkeley and Northwestern, to name a few. The AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) holds a “Business Perspectives for Design Leaders” seminar at the Harvard Business School annually. And there are many more programs being developed.

This signals just the beginning of a new trend to imbue future business leaders in design thinking and strategy. After all, if our business leaders are expected to become creative thinkers, problem solvers and innovators to keep their companies ahead of ever-intensifying global competition, won’t the basic premises of design serve them well? We might call this a move to integrate right brain (creative, innovative and design) and left brain (analytical, management) thinking in the highest circles of business.

The corporate and design sectors must integrate their analytical and creative problem-solving with true design solutions as never before. The dividends this will yield will be better and better customer experiences that deepen into meaningful relationships, built on trust. That is where we will realize the full potential of brand loyalty and brand equity.

Design as the new corporate marketing strategy—this is an idea whose time has come.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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