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Innovation Methods

Innovation Methods

Overview of the key principles that drive design-led innovation.

The inspiring lectures and the project in the Innovation Methods class was a great aid and pushed me to get great job!
—MDM student, 2022

Objective & Outcomes

The goal of this class is to provide experience applying contemporary innovation methods during a simulated client engagement. Innovation can be defined as “creating value on purpose at an organization.” This course is about the practice of innovation: a set of methods, structures, and mindsets for creating new value at organizations. The simulated client experience is critical for learning: the context and constraints will mimic the real-world challenges faced when activating innovation at large organizations.

Students will go through all stages of the innovation process and practice using several structured methods. By applying these methods to a project, students will learn about the benefits and limitations of each method. This learning will help them decide which method to use as they encounter various innovation challenges. They will also learn about the kind of information needed as inputs for using these methods and the nature of outputs generated.

Upon completing this course, students will be able to articulate various methods for innovation, their benefits, and limitations in practice and select the most appropriate methods for specific innovation challenges at hand.

Typical Schedule

  • Session 1: Problem Framing: Understanding framing errors, abstraction, terrains and territories, and root cause
  • Session 2: Work Day
  • Session 3: Innovation Research: Case studies (reasoning by analogy), capabilities, deviations, orthodoxies, and customer needs
  • Session 4: Work Day
  • Session 5: Theme Development: Creating themes, prioritizing themes, activating themes, mission statements, and design principles
  • Session 6: Work Day
  • Session 7: Solution Development: Flipping orthodoxies, embracing the suck, dare to ask, experiences and activities, and ten types brainstorming
  • Session 8: Prioritizing Opportunities: Authoring solutions using the canvas, maps and portfolios, and spreadsheet modeling
  • Session 9: Work Day
  • Session 10: Testing & Living Labs: Setting up living labs, assessment, and development
  • Session 11: Work Day
  • Session 12: Implementation: Operating models, structures for innovation (central/decentral, integrated/separate), the influence models, and mind control/evangelism
  • Session 13: Work Days
  • Session 14: Work Days
  • Session 15: Final Presentations