Business Embraces Design

02 May 2009|Darrel Rhea

Today I visited the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western. I had meetings with 10 of the faculty and have a half a dozen students in the MBA and Doctoral programs. Like other leading Business schools, Weatherhead is integrating Design Methods with more traditional B-school curriculum. Why? They certainly aren’t doing this to follow any fad…

Their visionary faculty (including Fred Collopy and Dick Boland) concluded that Design Thinking is a critical missing skill set for future business leaders and they are building up an impressive academic program to deliver industry the creative managers they need. The fact that leading experts in Finance, Economics, Entrepreneurialism, Organizational Behavior, etc. had the open-minded vision to embrace another discipline like Design is exceptional. It’s evidence that this is “not your father’s B-school.” (The other clue is their world-class building by Frank Gehry… amazing.)

They have attracted thought leader faculty like Dick Buchanan (Former head of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design) and they are leveraging CIA (The Cleveland Art Institute, a gem of a Design School with a rare 5 yr. undergrad program led by Dean Mathew Hollern).

Weatherhead is one the move, and I expect that in the coming years they will join the ranks of leading progressive programs that promote integrative or trans-disciplinary practices.

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