• Download brochure | IESE Business School
  • Apply now | IESE Business School
  • Program finder | IESE Business School

The Power of Design Thinking to Resolve Complex Challenges

Adopt a fresh approach to problem solving and bolster your ability to tackle current complex, human-centered business challenges by tapping into the power of design thinking.

Discover opportunities for organizational growth and elevate your team’s performance.


  • Novel solutions. Explore new approaches to problem solving that can be applied to a wide range of business challenges and contexts of crisis.
  • Shared methods. Gain principles, practices and techniques that boost managerial competencies to lead in turbulent times.
  • Customer centricity. Learn how cross-functional teams can coalesce around customer needs to build a shared understanding around user-centered focus.
  • Better results at lower risk. Create and implement user-centered solutions with business impact, faster and more effectively.

The “Design Thinking: From Strategic Transformation to Business Impact” program’s content will be structured in the following way:

The first block of sessions lays the foundations of design thinking and how it differs from traditional problem solving approaches.

In the second block, the spotlight is going deeper on proven tools to stimulate creativity and customer centricity. The final block focuses on dissolving a crisis, and implementing best practices to ensure participants can transfer their learnings to their unique context challenges.

  • The Basics of Design Thinking
    Learn how to establish strategic priorities and implement them through problem identification and prioritization.
  • Need Finding and Opportunity Generation
    Develop a deep customer understanding by detecting latent needs and reframing the original challenge.
  • Ideation
    Discover the various phases of ideation and how to effectively lead a creativity workshop.
  • Solution Validation
    Concept development and learning through experimentation and prototyping.
  • Design-Thinking Applications
    Apply key learnings to dissolving a crisis, implementing a design-driven transformation strategy, service redesign, and strategic problem resolution.

Is This Program Right for You?
The “Design Thinking: From Strategic Transformation to Business Impact” program is highly beneficial for managers who oversee business development, talent management, strategy implementation, customer service, strategic projects and innovation initiatives.

The faculty of the “Design Thinking: From Strategic Transformation to Business Impact” program is made up of professionals who are involved not only in teaching but in research and the business world:

Joaquim Vilà | IESE Business SchoolJoaquim Vilà
Academic Director
Professor of Strategic Management
PhD in Strategic Management, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Master’s in Organization and Strategy, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Industrial Engineer, Universitat Politècnica de Barcelona
Business Administration, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Certified Design Thinking, IDEO and Experience Point
IAP-Harvard Business School on Design Thinking
Xavier Camps
Executive Master in Business Innovation, Deusto Business School
Executive MBA, EADA and University of Stellenbosch Business Schools
Philippe Delespesse
CEO and Founder Binnakle Innovation Games and co-organizer of Gamification Day
Degree in Management and MBA from the Solvay Business School (Belgium)
Alejandro Lago
Professor and Head of Production, Technology and Operations Management
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
Master of Science (Engineering), University of California at Berkeley
Elisabeth de Morentin | IESE Business SchoolElisabeth de Morentin
Professor, Istituto Europeo di Design (IED)
Global Services Concept lead at Roche. Professor Design Manager
Master’s in Design Thinking-Integrative Thinking, Illinois Institute of Technology
Bachelor’s in Industrial Design from Llotja school.
Itziar Pobes
External Collaborator

Coordinator of Master’s Degree in Service Design at IED Barcelona
MBA in Service Innovation and Design, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Postgraduate in Design Thinking and Innovation, Elisava Barcelona School of Design and Engineering
Degree in Philosophy, University of Deusto
Degree in Translation and Interpretation, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
John Pourdehnad
Assistant Professor, Complex Systems Leadership, Thomas Jefferson University
Founder and Principal Consultant, Systems Wisdom, LLC
Former Associate Director, Ackoff Collaboratory for Advancement of the Systems Approach, University of Pennsylvania

Methodology and Format
IESE’s blended programs accelerate growth and boost business performance through a strategic and seamless interplay of highly engaging online and onsite content.

This program comprises two online modules and a three-day face-to-face module on IESE’s campus in Barcelona. All modules deliver an engaging, high-impact learning experience by interweaving a strategic blend of academic methodologies, including the case method, hands-on activities and diverse academic materials.

Participants have the option of taking part in the full blended program or in one or both of the online modules. A discounted rate will be offered for applications to both online modules.

Admission Process & fees
The program has a three-step admission process:

  1. Participants must complete and submit the online application.
  2. The Executive Education Department will contact the participant by email to acknowledge receipt of the application. It will also provide information about the program dates, sending of prior study materials and the bank details needed to pay tuition.
  3. The participant pays tuition (payment must be made before the start of the course and before prior study materials are sent). This is an essential prerequisite for participating in the program.
  4. Two weeks before the start of the program, participants will receive an email with a username giving them access to IESE’s Virtual Campus, where initial study materials will be available.


  • Full Blended Program:
    General fee: € 5,250
    IESE members fee: € 4,725
    Executive Education Certificate fee: additional 5% discount on the general or membership fee.
  • Individual Online Module:
    General fee: € 750
    IESE members fee: € 675
    Executive Education Certificate fee: additional 5% discount on the general or membership fee.
  • Both Online Modules:
    General fee: € 1,100
    IESE members fee: € 990
    Executive Education Certificate fee: additional 5% discount on the general or membership fee.

The program fee is tax-exempt and includes academic materials and most meals during the on-campus module. Travel and accommodation expenses are not included. Discounts are available for corporate agreements and multiple registrations from the same company.

The program requires preparatory coursework, which will be made available two weeks before the start date. Payment is required in order to access this material.

Please consult our cancellation policy on the web. Places are limited and filled in strict order of registration.

Do you know about our corporate agreements and fees for multiple registrations? Feel free to ask us.

We have negotiated special fees for our participants in these hotels near to Barcelona campus: AC Victoria Suites (Marriot) 4*, Sansi Pedralbes 4*, Abba Garden 4*, Meliá Sarriá Barcelona 5*, Upper Diagonal 4*.

Arranging Payment
We accept payments by credit card, check or wire. For more payment information, please reference your invoice.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations received within 20 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a cancellation fee equivalent to 25% of the program fee. IESE reserves the right to cancel this edition of the program or to change the dates up to 20 days prior to its start. IESE is under no circumstances responsible for travel expenses incurred. Participants should consider travel cancellation coverage in the exceptional event that the program is cancelled or that participants are unable to attend for personal or professional reasons.


Online Module
Module 1: June 7-28, 2021

On-Campus Module: Barcelona
Module 2: June 29 – July 1, 2021

Online Module
Module 3: July 2-16, 2021


IESE Business School
Focused Programs
Anna Vera
(+34) 93 253 4395
How to arrive




  • IESE offers you the opportunity of designing a personalized development plan. With the support of an academic adviser, you will ll select at least four focused programs that address your unique interests and learning objectives. Once completed, you will receive the IESE Executive Education Certificate and become elegible to join IESE’s Alumni Association.

    Contact an adviser – Learn more about our Focused Programs portfolio and the ones that best reflect your development needs.

     Request the Executive Education Certificate – If you have already completed four or more programs and meet the requirements, you can apply for your certificate here.

  • IESE’s Executive Education Certificate offers a series of key benefits:

     Professional guidance with an IESE adviser.

    5% discount on any future focused program.

     Possibility of becoming a member of the Alumni Association, which delivers a broad array of exclusive benefits, ranging from professional support services to access to more than 300 Alumni learning sessions per year. Delivered around the world, sessions are a chance to learn and build your network.

  • To receive the IESE Executive Education Certificate you must meet the following requirements:

    Complete at least four focused programs (in English or Spanish).

    Programs must be completed within three years.

    Programs should amount to a minimum of 13 days of learning. You can view the focused programs calendar here for a list of available programs.


#1 in Executive Education since 2015 by Financial Times | IESE Business School

#1 in Custom Programs since 2015 by Financial Times | IESE Business School
#3 in Open Programs 2018 by Financial Times | IESE Business School

Need more information?

IESE Barcelona
| enfocadosbcn@iese.edu | (+34) 93 253 4395

IESE Madrid | enfocadosmad@iese.edu | (+34) 91 211 3132 / 3160

IESE Munich | execed.muc@iese.edu | (+49) (89) 242 097 951