About this Course
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Flexible deadlines

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Approx. 14 hours to complete

Suggested: 3-4 hours/week...


Subtitles: English, Portuguese (Brazilian)

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Approx. 14 hours to complete

Suggested: 3-4 hours/week...


Subtitles: English, Portuguese (Brazilian)

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

4 hours to complete

Using Design Principles to Innovate and Find Opportunities

10 videos (Total 46 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
10 videos
Course Overview with Ed Colgate56s
Innovating and Finding Opportunities by Design4m
​Design is about People5m
Adopting the Traits of a Design Innovator6m
Uncovering Opportunities with a Design Innovation Mindset4m
Design Research6m
​Tools and Techniques for Design Research5m
Observations to Insights6m
​Generating How Might We (HMW) Questions from Insights3m
4 readings
Meet Your Professors10m
Course Grading & Logistics10m
Suggested Readings (Optional)10m
Optional Reading: Empathy on the Edge10m
2 hours to complete

Exploring Ideas

3 videos (Total 15 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
3 videos
Generating Ideas7m
Storyboarding Concepts3m
1 reading
Supplementary Visuals & Exercises10m
4 hours to complete

Prototyping to Learn

6 videos (Total 51 min), 1 quiz
6 videos
Value of Prototyping13m
​How to Prototype6m
Preparing to Test Prototypes with Users5m
Testing Prototypes with Users8m
The Role of Prototypes in Decision-Making and Leadership14m
4 hours to complete

Leading Design Innovation

6 videos (Total 26 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
6 videos
Communicating about Design & Innovation5m
​Building the Team5m
Creating Space for Design & Innovation4m
ROI for Innovation4m
Conclusion to Course 5 with Dean Blount1m
3 readings
Design Worksheet10m
Example Completed Design Worksheet10m
Optional Reading: Design Thinking Comes of Age10m
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Top reviews from Leadership Through Design Innovation

By MCApr 16th 2018

SO far I've enjoyed it and it's the course why I started the specialization for, and instead of taking it separate from the others, it's way better to have the full track to get the 360 view

By PMSep 29th 2016

Enjoyed the journey through the course. The projects are integral to gain confidence on applying design thinking. However, they are time intensive and require commitment.



Elizabeth Gerber

Associate Professor, Co-director of the Research Cluster at the Segal Design Institute
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science (Segal Design Institute), School of Communication, Kellogg School of Management (by courtesy), School of Education and Social Policy (by courtesy)

Pam Daniels

Clinical Assistant Professor, Design Innovator in Residence
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Segal Design Institute)

Ed Colgate

Allen and Johnnie Breed University Design Professor, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Director of the Engineering Design and Innovation Masters Program at the Segal Design Institute
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Greg Holderfield

Pentair - D. Eugene and Bonnie L. Nugent Clinical Associate Professor of Design, Director of the Segal Design Institute, Co-Director of the MMM Program
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science (Segal Design Institute)

About Northwestern University

Northwestern University is a private research and teaching university with campuses in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, and Doha, Qatar. Northwestern combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment that transcends traditional academic boundaries. ...

About the Organizational Leadership Specialization

Equip yourself to successfully lead organizations through clarity of purpose and effective collaboration — by building and motivating teams; designing and delivering powerful stories; developing strategies to appropriately influence; understanding underlying customer analytics and applying innovative approaches to deliver impact. How do aspiring managers succeed in an ever-changing business environment? How do they lead different groups to action? This specialization equips aspiring managers to lead change and leverage different roles and functions within for-profit institutions to create lasting value in the marketplace. Throughout the five courses, we will explore how great leaders assess themselves and lead collaborative teams that effectively manage negotiations and conflict. We will discover how leaders communicate through storytelling and employ other communication strategies to influence. Furthermore, we will learn how organizations start with the clarity of purpose that comes from an understanding of customers’ needs, including leveraging data analytics, and use that focus to drive the design of products and services to meet those needs effectively. At the end of the coursework, students will create a capstone project that allows them to apply what they have learned. Each of the individual courses can be audited for free: 1-High Performance Collaboration: Leadership, Teamwork, and Negotiation, 2-Leadership Communication for Maximum Impact: Storytelling, 3-Leadership Through Social Influence, 4-Leadership Through Marketing, 5-Leadership Through Design Innovation....
Organizational Leadership

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.