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Posted: August 01, 2014

Business school to offer problem-solving seminar

Leah Samuelson

St. Louis-based Washington University’s Olin Business School – ranked No. 2 worldwide by The Wall Street Journal – made its Executive MBA program available in Colorado last September, and in mid-fall the school will offer a “Design Thinking & Innovation” seminar to “drive breakthrough innovation through customer focus” and teach participants how to solve “the right problems … beautifully,” according to Samuel Chun, assistant dean of executive programs, Olin Business School.

The one-day user-experience course is designed for “entrepreneurs, corporate executives, engineers, scientists … anyone with an interest in how to develop creativity and become more innovative,” said Chun, who is spearheading the program with Bruce Lindsey, dean of the graduate school of architecture and urban design.

“Design thinking enables you to take your creativity and connect it to what customers need,” Chun added. 

The aim of the program is to demonstrate that by adopting and applying designers’ strategies and styles to business and problem-solving, organizations and the individuals behind them can become more nimble and creative.

For the course the two academics will present a real-world business problem and walk through the design-thinking model to reach a solution that is not only functional, but also aesthetically pleasing.

He and Lindsey have distilled the design thinking model into three steps:

1.  Understand the customer
2.  Define the problem
3.  Invent a series of prototypes to get to the solution

The goal is to match people’s needs with technological feasibility and practicality for business strategies.
“Design thinking enables you to take your creativity and connect it to what customers seem to need,” Chun said. Guests will leave knowing “how we can solve a problem better.”

For more information on the EMBA program, visit: olin.wustl.edu

 

Leah Samuelson is a freelance writer.

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