About this online course


Learn how to leverage your design expertise and practices to become an innovative leader, influence stakeholders and interact with top management.

There is no doubt that innovation is key to progress. Companies worldwide invest millions per year on the development of new products and services that will ensure their economic sustainability. However, innovation is a challenging endeavor that requires strategic thinking, customer focus, the right organizational climate, and an effective management approach.

Designers, with their specific skills, can take a major part in driving innovation. This is already successfully happening in companies like SAP, Pepsi-Co and Philips, where design professionals play a leading role in steering innovation.

Inspired by these cases, this design course is aimed at designers who would like to take a more active role in the innovative efforts of companies, and who want to go beyond executing new product/service design briefs. It suits strategic designers with an interest in acquiring a more senior position in the company or even becoming a Chief Design Officer (CDO). Or designers with ambition to better understand and develop their strategic potential, become sparring partners in crafting briefs, and influence strategic decision-making within their organizations.

By using a three-step approach for leading and managing strategic innovation projects, this course will teach you how to harness your existing design practices – such as envisioning, orchestrating, inspiring, etc. and transform them into powerful innovation drivers. You will learn how to use these practices to impact strategic decision-making, win stakeholders' support, and identify relevant KPIs. You will also learn how to adapt your design practices and design-driven way of working to a particular company. Finally, you will practice some design methods to make your impact durable over time.

The course includes a combination of short lectures by design and innovation experts, practical exercises, several live sessions and personalized feedback given by the instructors and your fellow learners. All these will help you learn which design capabilities and practices are most valued by companies, and how to use them effectively for improving a company's innovation performance. To help you gain a better understanding of innovation, you will:

  • Learn how your strategic contributions can help companies create and capture value through innovation.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the organization you are working in.
  • Utilize this understanding to effectively interact with management and other stakeholders.

What you'll learn:

  • A 3-step process for leading strategic design projects
  • 8 strategic design practices and related tools
  • A KPI-driven way of looking at companies
  • A way of thinking that combines design principles and business sense

Your Learning Platform

Take a 2 minutes video tour to see how convenient and easy it is to participate in an online course of TU Delft.

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Quotes from students attending the offline master class:

"The instructor did a great job - she is clearly passionate about what she does, she is engaging and dynamic. Keep going and keep evolving how you facilitate these kinds of groups!''

"The external speakers were very inspiring to learn from - they were well selected."

"I valued the fact that the course goes beyond design thinking tools and looks also at capabilities and practices."

''I liked the approach of looking beyond (the design of) the artefact itself and focus on the added value it brings to both the end user and producer. Being designer it is too easy to focus on the product itself. While in the end it is all about the added value the product brings that will define a large portion of its success."


Course syllabus

Week 1: Enabling design leadership
Introduction to working practices for leading strategic innovation projects. As a basis for the course, we will provide you with a 3 step process for leading innovation process and with a self-assessment tool for your evaluating your design leadership 'readiness.'

Week 2: Preparing the ground
Learn to understand your company for strategic purposes. We will help you identify the core drivers of your company's business, culture and offering to enable you to claim and practice your design leadership.

Week 3: Co-creating
Introduction to several tools to work effectively with stakeholders influencing innovation decision making. Different stakeholders have different priorities, how can you as a designer communicate with them and engage them in strategic innovation projects?

Week 4: Embedding
Learn how to have long lasting impact by embedding design practices and their outcomes in the company. Create your own plan to embed the 3 step model in your company. A webinar with different experts will answer your questions.


The course includes several live sessions. The date and time of each session will be communicated in advance so you can plan your time. These sessions will be recorded for later view in case you are unable to participate. In addition, the course uses an interactive visual tool ("Sketchdrive") to easily communicate with your fellow learners provide/receive feedback on course work. For the course starting 25 May 2022, the current dates for the live sessions are planned for Wednesdays: 1, 8, 15 and 22 June at 17:00 CEST.


Certificates and CEUs

If you successfully complete this course you will earn a professional education certificate and you are eligible to receive 1.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

View sample certificate


This course is primarily geared towards working professionals.


  • Design background
  • Knowledge of main design methods


If you have any questions about this course or the TU Delft online learning environment, please visit our Help & Support page.

Enroll now Enroll with STAP

  • Starts: Future dates to be announced
  • Fee: €695
  • Group fee: contact us
  • Length: 4 weeks
  • Effort: 3 - 4 hours per week
  • Max. number of participants: 45

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