Sometimes "best practices" just aren’t good enough. Design thinking imagines alternatives that have not yet made their way to the table, game-changing ideas still unformed and fresh perspectives that could yield very different views of a problem.
We know that businesses cannot succeed by looking at every challenge through the same spreadsheet-based prism. Managers need to reach beyond one-size-fits-all solutions. Design consists, broadly, of observing behaviors, visualizing ideas, prototyping alternatives and refining the best of them. The Manage by Designing approach, and the flexible, creative habits of mind that go with it, informs our curriculum and equips our graduates to consider complex, real-world challenges from a fresh and productive point of view.
On Case Western Reserve University’s campus, located at the heart of University Circle, students find themselves in one of the most dense concentrations of educational, scientific, medical and cultural institutions in the United States. The Weatherhead School of Management is within a few minutes’ walk of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The presence of these world-class cultural assets and the process of working with architect Frank Gehry on the plan for our iconic home in the Peter B. Lewis building influenced the decision to integrate Manage by Designing into Weatherhead’s culture and curriculum. Drawn by the potency of these initiatives for the future of design as well as that of management, Richard Buchanan, PhD, one of the world’s leading design theorists and teachers, joined our faculty in 2008. Fine art professors, theatre directors and art historians visit our classrooms to introduce their disciplines into our business studies. Design is becoming a competency that sets our graduates apart.
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