I had heard about design thinking, but like many I didn’t had a clue what the fuss was all about. For me design was applied to furniture, appliance, cars, and yes, sometimes too, to a web interface or a computer program. On this month of July 2018, I was onboarding on a trip that would lead me to explore what is Design Thinking, and to the vibrant city of Boston, Massachusetts, in the international module of the Executive MBA at Frankfurt School.
This week was like a rollercoaster, you never knew what was going to surprise you next. Our course was to take place in the partner university of Bentley. So, we, a small group of ten students from Frankfurt School, were warmly greeted upon our arrival by the school faculty.
This course was to be taught by two professors. They completed each other very nicely in the sense that one had a Marketing, advertising and innovation background, while the other was more well versed in humanities. They were the perfect pilots for that journey, into Design Thinking, also called customer centric design. Lectures were very interactive, with many workshops and roleplay.
Creativity was also very present this week, and the next part of our journey turned out to be within ourselves, and how we could reconnect with our creative side. Of course this was all business oriented, and those creative skills are much needed when coming up with a startup idea, finding a unique selling point in a saturated market, or adding that differentiating touch in a business proposal.
What I find especially satisfying, is that we had many take-away from this course, and it was not just an inspiring moment. We have practical tools, that can – and will – be used in our companies. Very much part of the class, yet outside of campus were the company visits. We visited famous design agency, innovation labs, co-working spaces in the heart of Cambridge.
We even “stumbled” upon a lecture from the father of the Business Canvas, Alexander Osterwalder. We enjoyed visits of Downtown Boston, its old harbor, its historical center. We then had a night out at an improvising show, and that was the perfect illustration of the wonders of a creative mind. There are so many things happening in Boston on any given day, that you will want to come back for more. I know I will! But I won’t give away any more spoilers on what you will experience in that class: go and apply for the Executive MBA at Frankfurt School!