[Road trip Pt 1] Cleveland and Weatherhead’s Manage by Designing program

In September, Moura and I took a road trip out east.  First stop was the Weatherhead School.  The folks there have a global reputation for doing cool things in the emerging discipline of strategic design through their Manage by Designing program.  And the great thing about being in academia is that other academics are willing to share.  So we were graciously hosted by the small faculty cohort there: Fred Collopy, Dick Buchanan and Dick Boland.  

From what we observed, they’re teaching traditional design skills first – then exploring how to apply them to business problems.  This seemed a little disjointed at first glance – hard to say how it ultimately integrates with the rest of the business curriculum.

We were particularly keen to see how they’re connecting with their local business community; what kind of collaborations they have.  Surprisingly, this seems to be limited to student projects – mostly service and information design.  They’re also working primarily with MBA’s and Execs – no undergrads.

Our key takeaway (apart from being stunned at how hard it is to get a taxi in Cleveland) was that we’re right up there at the head of the pack in teaching strategic design.  And that we need to do a better job of marketing our process, expertise and work.

Next stop – Rhode Island!

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