Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation

In today's competitive business landscape, organisations must adopt a human-centred approach to stay ahead of the curve. Our Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation Short Learning Programme addresses this market gap by offering a comprehensive course emphasising empathy and understanding of users’ needs. We equip participants with the tools to create meaningful and impactful solutions, enabling them to deliver products and services that resonate with their target audience.

Furthermore, our programme recognises the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in fostering innovation. By bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise, we aim to cultivate a collaborative work culture within organisations, ensuring they can leverage collective knowledge to develop holistic solutions. This approach drives strategic innovation and sets businesses apart in a crowded marketplace.

Lastly, this Short Learning Programme enhances problem-solving skills by combining creative and analytical thinking, ensuring agility and adaptability in a rapidly evolving business environment. Participants will learn to harness the power of design thinking to test and refine solutions, aligning them with ever-changing market demands and customer expectations. By incorporating design thinking into strategic innovation processes, organisations will gain a competitive edge, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation and securing a sustainable advantage in the long run.

Purpose of the course

This Short Learning Programme in Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation aims to equip leaders and professionals with the skills and mindset required to incorporate design thinking as a key driver of strategic innovation in their organisations.

Traditional business strategies often lack a human-centric perspective, which may result in products and services that fail to resonate with the intended audience. Design thinking emphasises empathy and a deep understanding of users’ needs, driving organisations to create meaningful and impactful solutions.

Design thinking encourages cross-functional collaboration, bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise to develop holistic and innovative solutions. This course aims to cultivate the ability to leverage collective knowledge and foster a collaborative work culture in organisations.

The Short Learning Programme will provide participants with a structured, step-by-step methodology to approach complex challenges. Design thinking combines creative and analytical thinking to encourage innovative problem-solving techniques, which can be applied across various industries and sectors.

The rapidly evolving business environment requires leaders to be agile and adaptable. This course will enable participants to harness the power of design thinking to iteratively test and refine their solutions, ensuring that they remain aligned with the ever-changing market demands and customer expectations.

Organisations can develop unique and differentiated products and services by incorporating design thinking into their strategic innovation processes. This helps them stand out in a crowded market and provides a competitive edge by fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. The Short Learning Programme will equip participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to drive strategic innovation, giving their organisations a sustainable advantage in the long run.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
An NQF 4 or equivalent qualification. Attendees should have basic digital competencies to participate in online sessions actively; they should also have a good understanding of their organisation and its processes.
Learning assumed to be in place
Foundational knowledge of digital technologies and their potential applications in organisations, as well as an understanding of basic business principles and practices. No advanced knowledge or technical skills are required.

Course outcomes and assessment criteria

Course outcomes and the associated assessment criteria



  • Understanding of design thinking: Basic knowledge and informed understanding of the principles of design thinking.

  • Developing a human-centred approach to problem-solving: The ability to develop empathy and a human-centred approach to problem-solving.

  • Interdisciplinary collaboration: The ability to effectively facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration.

  • Develop innovative solutions: The ability to design, prototype, and test innovative solutions.

  • Propose opportunities for process optimisation: The ability to implement design thinking processes within the context of the participant's organisation.


Assessment Criteria


  • Outline and discuss applicable design thinking concepts, tools, and methodologies during in-class activities.

  • Conduct user research, create personas, and map customer journeys to identify user needs and pain points, assessed through the presentation of user interviews and resulting documentation.

  • Exhibit the ability to lead and participate in cross-functional teams, foster open communication, and manage conflicts, assessed through group assignments.

  • Apply design thinking techniques to develop prototypes and iteratively test solutions, assessed through hands-on prototyping activities, user testing reports, and reflection on lessons learned.

  • Develop an actionable plan to integrate design thinking into organisational strategy and innovation processes, assessed through a written implementation plan.




Formative and Summative assessment
Method of assessment
The final submission should be a comprehensive portfolio of evidence showcasing what the individual learnt and applied during the SLP.

Additional information

Programme number
M06 100 1
Mode of delivery
Target group
The Short Learning Programme is designed for a diverse audience, including executives, senior and middle managers, team leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, innovation and product development professionals, consultants, and advisors. It is well-suited for individuals from various industries and sectors seeking to enhance their problem-solving abilities, drive strategic innovation, and foster a customer-centric, collaborative culture within their organisations.
One month: 6 sessions of 6 hours each, two days apart, with practical POE after 6 sessions.

Contact us

Contact person name
Me Didi Ungerer
Contact person e-mail
Contact person telephone number