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A student works on a project during a class in the Executive Education program in the Opus College of Business in Terrence Murphy Hall in Minneapolis on February 26, 2016.

Learn to solve wicked problems with creative solutions

Solving Problems with Design Thinking

Wicked problems, the difficult problems which resist resolution, need a creative approach. Learn how to use design thinking to lead your team or projects toward customer centric solutions with this hands-on, interactive program.

The answers to most business challenges are not found in the boardroom. Human-centered design or design thinking is a set of tools that encourages ‘leadership from the middle’ of organizations. Design thinking puts the focus on the customer first, rather than technical limitations or business constraints. This way of thinking allows organizations to create break-through ideas using a human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process. Most important, it is a practical approach which you can start to apply on Monday morning!

In this highly interactive, two-day program, you will learn by going through each step of the human-centered design process. This process will help you evolve from a planning and execution mindset to one of strategic thinking and change. Leave with practiced, hands-on tools to apply the design thinking process immediately in your work.

Sessions are held on the downtown Minneapolis campus, and parking is available within one block.

Have Questions?

Contact Lindsey Low. She can help you determine if this program is the right fit for you, and answer any questions you have.


Lindsey Low

Program Manager
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An attendee participates in a group discussion during the Executive Coaching in Organizations Conference in the Schulze Grand Atrium in the School of Law building in Minneapolis on January 19, 2018.

Is This Program Right For You?

Are you feeling stuck? Do your team meetings end in log jams or frustration? Or, are you inspired to innovate but just don’t know where to start? Either way, Solving Problems with Design Thinking will help you move forward. This workshop style program can be used by those in all industries and in all levels within an organization.

You would benefit from this program if you:

  • Work in a customer centric organization or strive to be more customer centric
  • Desire to be more innovative in your work
  • Set strategy for your projects, teams or organization
  • Deal with complex workplace problems that require creative solutions
  • Drive product development, design or innovation

Benefits of This Program

Increase Your Confidence

Learn the language and philosophy behind human centered design to be more effective on teams already using this way of thinking.

Gain Hands-on Tools

Learn the steps of this valuable innovation tool. Practice each step of the design thinking process so that you can apply it in your work.

Shift Your Thinking

Often new ideas are developed in meetings rather than through customer insight. Change that. Involve your customers for more effective and innovative solutions.

Increase Your Success Rate

Customer centric systems and services tend to be more successful. Learn how to apply the design thinking process to test new concepts with current or prospective customers.   

Decrease Costs

When solutions are well designed and customers understand how to use them without assistance, it decreases support and help desk costs.

Solve Problems More Effectively

Solve problems using empathy and a focus on the needs of the customers, key elements of the human centered design process. 


Dive into the primary frameworks used in human centered design. Using a real-life example, work through the framing process and empathy research in teams.

Learn how to synthesize the learnings from empathy interviews. You’ll begin to identify needs and insights to form preliminary customer points of view.

Building upon previous steps, you will begin creating the customer journey. This information will be used to conduct additional customer interviews.

With customer insights from previous stages, you will learn how to create, test and refine a prototype. Use all of this information to begin building a business model.

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Experience Design Thinking Online Learning Session

Experience design thinking firsthand with program instructor John McVea in a recording of an Online Learning Series session on the same topic.
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Take the Next Step

St. Thomas Executive Education programs give you cutting-edge, practical knowledge and real-world skills you can apply at work the very next day. Gain the tools and techniques to be a more effective, strategic leader.
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