The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Leadership & Management Development

Haslam College of Business

Innovation by Design

Design thinking is a formal method for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions with the intent of improved future result. People are most familiar with six sigma and lean as ways to improve processes and eliminate wasteful practices. Design thinking looks at these same issues through a different lens, the result being new ideas and innovations that are human-centered. Whereas lean and six sigma look at issues based on past performance to predict future outcomes, design thinking approaches problems from the mindset that anything is theoretically possible and innovation can’t be achieved by using past data. Design thinking relies on collaboration and an iterative approach to problem solving which results in breakthrough innovations rather than incremental process improvements.

The Innovation by Design program uses a simulation based on the techniques pioneered by IDEO in San Francisco and developed by ExperiencePoint—an award-winning educational simulation design company in Toronto. The simulation is based on a case-study and guides participants through the inspire, ideate and implement stages that enable human-centered innovation. The Innovation by Design program focuses on how people interact with processes, how to gather accurate data and how to map it, and to apply the skills necessary to effectively use the methodology.

This course is also available as a custom course on the Knoxville campus or at a location of your choice.

Key Benefits

The program places strong emphasis on practical, applied content using experiential and interactive learning methods. We’ll use discussion, exercises and role-plays in addition to the simulation to reinforce the key learning objectives.

The overarching objectives of this program are:

  • Understand the design thinking methodology
  • Develop the skills necessary to effectively employ design thinking in their organizations
  • Learn proper interviewing techniques to obtain accurate data
  • Begin planning and preparing for a design thinking project

Intended Audience

This program is designed for individual contributors, project leaders, managers and executives charged with developing or improving their organization's processes.


Three days
February 21 – 23, 2017


Elaine Seat, Ph.D.—has over 15 years of experience consulting, teaching and developing leadership skills for professionals. Prior to her appointment as a professor, she spent over 20 years in industry as an engineer, project and program manager and engineering manager. Elaine has her doctorate in sport psychology, emphasis in technical performance, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering. Elaine is a faculty member in the Management Department.



Cost of the program includes:

  • Breakfast, lunch, break and refreshments
  • Temporary license for simulation software that participants can access for seven days after program to download resources from toolkit.
  • On-campus parking
  • Professional education credits, when requested

Preferred pricing is available for multiple attendees from the same organization.

Visit our preferred pricing page or call +1 (865) 974-5001 for more information.

Graduate & Executive Education ~ 504 Haslam Business Building ~ 1000 Volunteer Boulevard Knoxville, TN ~ 37996-4150
Phone: +1 865-974-5001 ~ Fax: +1 865-974-4989 ~ Email:


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System