Centre for Continuing Education

Design and Innovation Thinking Course

Management. Lift your career and your organisation.

Learn Management the smart way with Management courses at the University of Sydney.

This course will show you how to implement innovation in your business or organisation by using a Design thinking/Human-centred approach. We provide a high-level introductory overview of design thinking and work with a proven model and several tools to help you understand design thinking as a problem solving approach. Whether you are just starting in business or have been in business for many years, the pressure to innovate is ever present. Customers are always looking to those organisations that best solves their problems and makes their life easier or better.


The aim of this design and innovation course is to provide you with a practical process to solve complex challenges using a Design thinking/Human-centred approach.


Upon successful completion of this design and innovation thinking course, participants should be able to:

  1. Understand how Design thinking works in any business or organisation.
  2. Develop a growth mindset to identify key insights and opportunities.
  3. Understand how to use empathy as a key driver in innovation.
  4. Generate betters ideas/solutions using creative thinking tools.
  5. Understand how to use prototyping to test ideas/solutions.
  6. Develop the business case for their innovation/solution.


This course covers the following content:

  • What is Design thinking/Human-centred design
  • Why it is effective in developing innovation in a business or organisation
  • Develop a growth mindset to open up to all possibilities/opportunities
  • How to create personas to identify your target audience
  • How to use empathy to gain deeper insights from your target audience/customers/end-users and key stakeholders
  • Using various research techniques – interviewing, observation and data collection to uncover latent needs
  • Using creative thinking tools to generate innovative ideas/solutions
  • How to use prototyping to iterate and test ideas/solutions
  • Using testing/feedback to refine your idea/solution
  • Build the business case using a lean canvas model

Intended Audience

This design thinking and innovation course is suitable for people who aren’t necessarily trained as designers to use creative tools to address a vast range of challenges in their business or organization. This course is ideal for start-ups, entrepreneurs, professionals, small business owners, team leaders and managers in large corporations.

There are no pre-requisites to attend this course. However, it is a high-level introductory overview and is more suited for those with little or no prior knowledge of Design thinking/Human-centred design techniques.

There are no pre-requisites to attend this course.

Delivery Style

This course will be delivered as an interactive workshop where participants are presented with theory and a design challenge to solve and are encouraged to contribute to the discussions.

Recommended Reading

Brown, T (2009) Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Liedtka, J M and Ogilvie, T (2011) Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers, United States: Columbia University Press.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • Great topical and relevant examples. Facilitator was energetic and passionate – thank you!

  • This was a great course and I would definitely recommend it to my colleagues and friends. A great tutor who really kept the class engaged in the content for the whole day. I enjoyed the way this class was taught and most importantly the way the content was presented – easy to understand and to follow. This course has definitely helped me in my role at work.