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2011/2012  KAN-CM_E35  Design-Driven Innovation Strategy

English Title
Design-Driven Innovation Strategy

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course Period Autumn . Second Quarter
Please see e-campus
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 60
Study Board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course Coordinator
  • Stefan Meisiek - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy
Administration: Karina Ravn Nielsen/ Lucie Alexanian - electives.lpf@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Corporate and Business Strategy

Taught under Open University-Taught under open university.
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
- Analyze the emotional and symbolic value of products and services
- Assess the innovation portfolio of a firm and identitfy strengths and weaknesses in its design strategy
- Propose a design-driven innovation strategy by using the frameworks provided in the course
- Choose the most appropriate design process according to the type of innovation at hand
- Identify and attract a network of best creative experts in the field
Students with diverse backgrounds and interests are welcome. The project developed in the course will provide opportunities for students to draw from what they have learned in other courses, as well as from their own experiences. The course is integrative and complementary with the offers of programs in strategy, innovation, and marketing.
Individual Project, 15 pages
Design-Driven Innovation Strategy:
Assessment Home Assignment
Marking Scale 7-step scale
Censorship No censorship
Exam Period Winter Term
Aids Open Book, Written and Electronic Aid is permitted
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below

15 pages individual project exam. The project exam is the individual development of the team project developed during the year, following the feedback received by the professor and the firm.
Course Content

Design is increasingly becoming a major competitive weapon in today’s competition, especially in advanced economies. In any industry, whether in product or services, in consumer or industrial markets, firms are achieving a remarkable competitive advantage thanks to design, i.e. thanks to the capability to create products and services that are more meaningful to customers. Large and small companies such as Apple, Nintendo, Alessi, BMW, Starbucks, Whole Foods Market, STMicroelectronics, Bayer, do not compete only on technical functionality. They succeed by providing people meaningful experiences that are also superior in terms of emotional and symbolic value.

Executives who nowadays work in the field of strategy and innovation need to understand the role of design in business and how to create an organization with strong design capabilities. The course therefore provides the frameworks and tools for managers who want to master the power of design and become leaders in organizations that compete on design:

- part 1 of the course focuses on how to develop a design-driven innovation strategy (i.e. how to define a design vision for a company; how to identify and select projects that create new emotional experiences for customers; how to profit from design)

- part 2 focuses on the process to create breakthrough innovations based on design

- part 3 focuses on the role of top executives on building design capabilities in their organization,by structuring the internal innovation team and by collaborating with external creative talent.

The course is inherent to CBS’s current strategic focus on design in business.

The course's development of personal competences:

The course is intrinsically managerial: it is not a course on how to design, but on how to be an executive who make business through design. It is therefore targeted to students who want to become leaders in manufacturing or service firms that compete on design, with a position in the areas of strategy, innovation, marketing, R&D, business development. More specifically, the course develops capabilities to:
-Manage scenario-building projects, targeted at understanding the evolution of design, and how new emotional and symbolic values can be enabled by technologies
-Create new strategic visions that address those scenarios in terms of core values and identity of a firm brand, products and services
-Translate that vision into a strategic portfolio of design-driven innovations
-Define the design processes that allow to implement the strategy and deliver breakthrough products and services
-Be immersed into global design networks and identify, select, attract and nurture the most promising creative talents
-Lead an organization that creates breakthrough designs and know how to profit from design

Teaching Methods
Teaching is based on a dual structure that proceeds in parallel: a) interactive lectures on design-driven innovation strategies, based on cases and frameworks provided by the instructor and additional stimuli from guest practitioners or visual material; b) a project conducted in team. The project simulates the work of a top executive of a real firm that competes on design: developing a design vision, transforming it into a strategy and finding the relevant networks of creative talent with whom to cooperate. One or more existing manufacturing/service firms will provide students with a challenge on how to improve their design strategy and capabilities and will eventually comments on their suggestions. Time is allocated during the course for meeting among students and with the professor. Class attendance, and participation is therefore encouraged. Given the teaching approach, there is a limit in the maximum number of students.

Roberto Verganti, Design-Driven Innovation – Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating what Things Mean. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press, 2009 (textbook of the course)

Tim Brown, “Design Thinking,” Harvard Business Review, June (2008): 84-92.

Roberto Verganti, “Innovating Through Design”, Harvard Business Review, Volume 84, Number 12, 114-122, December, 2006.

Claudio Dell’Era, and Roberto Verganti, “Collaborative Strategies in Design-Intensive Industries: Knowledge Diversity and Innovation”, Long Range Planning, 43, February 2010, 123 – 141

Claudio Dell’Era, Tommaso Buganza, Camilla Fecchio and Roberto Verganti, “Language Brokering: stimulating creativity during the concept development phase”, Creativity and Innovation Management, 20, 1 (2011) 36-48