Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation: Q1 2025

Fee: €950


Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation

If you'd like to ask any questions about the programme you can book time for a call with Shay, our HCI Programme Manager 

Schedule a call


Qualification Certificate of Completion
Delivery Online

Weekly Thursdays, 5 weeks, each 9-1 pm

Course Fees €950 per person

Course Content

Session 1: Creative Thinking for Business 
Session 2: Introduction to Creative Problem Solving 
Session 3: Introduction to Design Thinking 
Session 4: Rapid Idea Generation and Insight 
Session 5: Design Thinking for Strategy and Change Management 


Organisations, their business models, markets and the people they serve are constantly in flux. Disruptive innovation is everywhere, change is constant. In this modern-day work environment, originality, ingenuity and creativity are essential to stay current and not lose ground to competitors.

To be truly innovative, we must elicit and seek to understand the perspectives of those impacted by the products, services and policies we develop. Effective design is user-centred, addresses a tangible problem and is rooted in human empathy. If as organisations and individuals, we focus on addressing human needs, through problem identification, insight generation and deferral of judgement, it will dramatically increase the likelihood of viable solutions, meaningful impact and ultimately competitive advantage.

This programme is a deep dive into the power of creative problem-solving and human-centred design thinking methodology. It explores how our approach to problem-solving can have a significant impact on the proposed solution. It introduces tools and techniques that place human beings at the centre of the process, ensuring that we are solving the right problem for the right audience and not being guided by our own assumptions. With this understanding, leaders can identify what might be affecting a team's successful approach to problem-solving and innovation.

Leaders will leave the programme with a clear implementation plan to introduce and embed this human-centred approach across their organisational processes, strategy and culture.

What are the programme outcomes?

Specifically, this programme is designed for mid-seniors and will enable them to:

  • Foster a culture of originality, ingenuity and creativity in themselves, their teams and their organisations.
  • Drive product and service solutions that are needs focused, with a persistent emphasis on the customer.
  • Integrate Design Thinking into the Strategic and Change Management practices of their organisation. 

Who is this programme for?

This programme is designed for mid-senior leaders who have an ambition or remit to become innovation ambassadors within their organisation – including but not limited to those with at least three years of people management experience. It is particularly suited to those wishing to foster a culture of originality, ingenuity and creativity in themselves, their teams and their organisations. The programme does not assume any prior knowledge or training in the subject areas.

Who can I contact for more information about the programme?

Contact: Shay Butler, HCI Programme Manager -  or if you're ready to go sign up here

General Information

Course Topics

Creative Thinking for Business
Release your creative potential and that of your team.

  • What is creativity? How inclusive is it?
  • Principles of creative thinking;
  • Bridges and barriers to creative thinking;
  • The CPS (Creative Problem Solving) Model.

Reflection Question: If you had everything you needed to think creatively and perform at your best, what problems would you solve at work?

Introduction to Creative Problem Solving
Discover fresh perspectives and opportunities in the problems you face.
  • Convergent and divergent thinking;
  • Invitational stems to frame problems as questions;
  • Techniques to defer or suspend judgement;
  • Action planning incorporating Assistors and Resistors.

Reflection Question: What’s the most important problem for you and your team to solve at work? Try to phrase that problem as a ‘How might we…’ statement.

Introduction to Design Thinking
Develop a healthy obsession with your customer.
  • Design Thinking skills, and how they relate to creativity, innovation and brainstorming; 
  • Problem definition; identifying customer needs and user groups;
  • Customer journeys and empathy mapping. 

Reflection Question: To make progress on your ‘How Might We…’ statement who are the stakeholders you need to meet and empathise with?

Rapid Idea Generation and Insight
Stimulate unconstrained ideation and insight
  • Creating the right environment for generating ideas;   
  • Tools and techniques for divergent thinking; 
  • Tools and techniques for convergent thinking; 
  • An introduction to the Basadur Innovation profile for individuals and teams.
Reflection Question: Based on your Basadur results, what profile do you present at work? How does the profile of your colleagues differ? Given your team's overall profile, what tools might you use to stimulate ideas and insight?

Design Thinking for Strategy and Change Management
Embed Design Thinking at the organisational level
  • Principles of Design Thinking at the organisational level;
  • Using Design Thinking to overcome barriers to strategic thinking and justifiable change management;
  • Techniques to drive Design Thinking at the organisational level: What's in my Design Thinking toolkit?
Reflection Question: Following this programme, what is the first step in your plan to embed Design Thinking into your organisation’s strategic practices?  

This programme recognises that innovation needs more than just the right people to drive it. It relies on detailed and repeatable processes to be successful. This programme covers theoretical concepts but also focuses on empowering participants with the practical skills needed to positively impact their work environment. Through-out the programme emphasis shall be placed on identifying practical ways to apply the skills acquired in the workplace. Each 4-hour session shall include a 1-hour practically focused Greenhouse element.     

The Greenhouse is a space where seeds are planted and new ideas grow. These are facilitator-led collaborative sessions (each weekly 4-hour session shall include a 1-hour practically focused Greenhouse element) where participants begin to apply their learning to a specific work-related challenge. Reflective questions, posed in each programme session, are designed to trigger the challenge you decide to address. The Greenhouse is a time and place to receive support, gather feedback and experiment in a non-judgemental environment. 

Weekly Thursdays, 5 weeks, each 9-1 pm

Jonathan Bannister BA - Design Thinker 

In October 2020, the World Economic Forum affirmed that the three most critical skills businesses require to remain competitive and manage change over the next five years are innovation, active learning and complex problem-solving. These skills are the very skills that Jonathan has spent the last decade helping leaders embed in their organisations.

As part of the Creative Education Foundation's core faculty, Jonathan is at the forefront of designing and delivering courses in creativity, design thinking, design sprints, and complex problem-solving. Jonathan has also designed the Social Business Canvas, a tool to help social entrepreneurs design and map their business models. Jonathan helps to transform organisations and leaders across both the public and private sectors including Nottingham Business School, BlueJeans, Morgan Sindall and Fauceria.


Fantastic course to help you learn more about approaching problem-solving in a creative way.  It encourages you to understand why you or other teammates naturally move to a preferred problem-solving method, this in turn allows you to stop and consider your approach before jumping to a solution.  Overall a great experience Jonathan is an energetic, enthusiastic and informative facilitator who manages to keep and wide group from different backgrounds thoroughly engaged.  A great plus is to hear and share thoughts with people from different companies and industries.  Would highly recommend it.
- Janell Callan, Qualio Inc.

Really helped me notice areas that could be improved on, and processes that could be implemented and overall changed the way I think for the better. It's amazing how quickly you benefit from following the process.
- Claire Nolan, LoyLap.

The design thinking program has provided tools that I can take back to my organisation to improve the way we approach problem-solving. Jonathan provided examples and addressed real concerns in the group so the learning became tangible. It has been a wonderful use of time.
- Amanda Bower, Marketing and Communications Manager, CNP Santander Insurance.

Design Thinking is absolutely critical for all organisations adapting and overcoming unknown challenges. 'Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation' provided expert guidance and extremely powerful tools to solve complex problems and make change possible.
- Simeon O'Neill, Creative Manager, MediaCentral.

The course confirmed my initial idea that Design Thinking can improve how my organization works and deals with innovation.
- Carlos Mandolesi, Trinity College Dublin.

The course has helped me to understand the concepts of design thinking not only in the professional, but also in the personal front. I feel more capable of reading, leading and executing challenges at work.
- Andre de Boers, Waste4Wear.

The course is well organised, the facilitator was a really professional trainer. I would definitely be able to apply what I learnt to my work and make impacts to the team and organisation! 
- Xin Zhang, Toast Inc.

This programme helped me to realise that I had a greater ability to come up with creative design ideas than I thought and gave me tools to have conversations with my team and organisation to be really innovative and energised about both current challenges and potential opportunities. Highly recommend it.
- Eleanor Walsh, Mary Immaculate College.