As companies of all sizes scramble to keep up in ever-increasingly competitive environments and in response to ever-increasing customer expectations, many are now leaning into the challenge of innovation as the key to surviving and thriving — disrupting before being disrupted.
5 Ways to Jump-Start Your Innovation Engine. Starting Today.
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. $30, includes lunch
Friday, Sept. 27, 2019
Robert B. Rowling Hall 3.406
300 West MLK Blvd., Austin Texas
Often, what holds us back from driving exceptional innovation is our over-reliance on our traditional development processes, research approaches, and analysis methodologies, which serve us well when we are evolving our offerings over time but fail us when the goal is to drive innovation.
Many companies are now looking to infuse their efforts with a human-centered design approach, in an effort to become innovation leaders in their respective industries. “A design approach to innovation creates an engine of value creation,” says Stephen Walls, senior lecturer in marketing at the McCombs School of Business.
Design as a process and set of tools allow companies to gain deeper insights into customers’ behaviors and needs, translate insights into understandable and usable conclusions, define key customer problems, generate ideas and prototypes to solve those problems, and design experiences that truly create value in a customer-driven world. To do this successfully, we need to integrate a new set of design tools & processes and, ultimately, a new design paradigm into our teams and organizations.
What you will learn:
- How a design-thinking approach creates an engine of innovation at firms that are using it effectively today.
- Essentials of a design-thinking mindset and process.
- Tools that you can start using today to make yourself and your teams more effective at generating greater quantity and higher quality ideas to address key customer or constituent challenges.
Meet the professors:
Stephen Walls serves as a senior lecturer in the Department of Marketing and the assistant director for Career Accelerator Programs and Instructional Innovation at the McCombs School of Business. He teaches courses on Design Thinking for Business Innovation, Digital Marketing, Marketing Principles, and Brand Management within the BBA, MBA, and Executive Education programs, along with the Masters in Engineering Management program. Stephen has received a number of teaching awards since joining the McCombs faculty in 2002. Stephen completed his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and his MBA at the University of Texas and his BBA in Marketing at Texas A&M University.
Stephen also serves as a senior consultant with Upstream Thinking on design projects with companies and organizations interested in identifying growth opportunities, envisioning new customer experiences, and facilitating continuous innovation. He also continues to consult with businesses and speak at industry conferences on a range of marketing topics, including design thinking for innovation, understanding your customers, and managing your brand. He brings together practical, corporate lessons with established and emerging marketing strategy and design concepts and theories. Stephen’s varied industry experience includes marketing, human resources, and technology management positions at Dell, Vignette, ibooks.com, American Airlines, and Walmart.
Jeff Mulhausen is a founding partner of Upstream Thinking which aims to deliver meaningful impact to organizations through the principles of innovation and design thinking. Jeff leads engagements with public and private organizations seeking to transform the experiences they provide to their stakeholders by developing new win-win scenarios.
Jeff’s expertise centers on the application of a human-centered-design methodology to define new value propositions and inform their design. These approaches combine to form a robust approach to gaining stakeholder insight, generating creative solutions and developing execution roadmaps. Uniquely, Upstream curates these methods in a customized manner to design new behaviors across the ecosystem for maximum impact.
His recent projects include helping shape a new patient-centered cancer care experience with the LiveStrong Foundation, the application of innovation principles for a future vision of the Austin Independent School District, and developing a family-centric behavior change model that uncovered new interventions to improve maternal/newborn health in India for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Recently, Jeff has led a new initiative to design an integrated analog/digital experience focused on the future of self-guided retail space. He’s currently working on an engagement with Facebook to explore new innovations for conflict resolution on the platform.
Jeff’s work has been recognized with multiple international design awards (Good Design — Japan, Red Dot — Germany, Businessweek — U.S.) His work on technology concepts for Sub-Sarahan Africa was exhibited in the “Design for the Other 90%” exhibit in the Cooper Hewitt Museum in NYC. Since 2009, he has crafted and co-instructed a course on Design Thinking for Business Innovation at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, which has been delivered in various formats for undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs.