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RSM2523H – Business Design Fundamentals

General Information


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Instructor Bio

Dr. Angèle Beausoleil is the Assistant Professor of Business Design and Innovation at the Rotman School of Management and Academic Director of the Business Design Initiative. Professor Beausoleil brings deep industry experience to her teaching of design methodologies for business innovation to MBAs, commerce students and industry executives. A former communications designer, marketer, strategist and innovation lab executive, she applies her 20+ years in private practice to crafting high impact teaching and learning experiences. With a PhD in Innovation Pedagogy, she leads applied research inside global organizations on innovation process design, navigation and management. Angèle is the author of Business Design Thinking and Doing: Frameworks, Strategies and Techniques for Sustainable Innovation.


Six week format: 2-hr studio/active learning class; Mon and Wed – theory + practice

Course Mission

This course is for those interested in understanding design’s role in business innovation and applying new ways of thinking to innovation development and management. The learning objectives are to:

  • Understand the diverse human-centred design practices inside organizations, highlighting strategic design, customer experience design, employee experience design and service design;
  • Appreciate the fundamental stages of innovation development through the 4-step Business Design Method;
  • Apply your learnings to multi-sector case-based corporate innovation challenges; and,
  • Develop empathy, insight-crafting, prototyping and storytelling skills

Course Scope

This unique Business Design Fundamentals course introduces students to the most prolific design practices and methods used in business decision-making today. Through a combination of lectures and experiential learning activities, students will gain an understanding of design’s growing impact on business – particularly on customer-centred innovation development and management. This foundational course is a pre-requisite for RSM2524 Business Design Practicum (Corporate Consulting Challenge) and is strongly recommended as preparation for RSM2516 Design Research and Data Storytelling, and for those intending to graduate with a Business Design Major. This course will challenge you to navigate uncertainty, sample qualitative research methods, design techniques and collaborate in solving real, yet case-based business challenges over an intensive six weeks.

Evaluation and Grade Distribution

ComponentDue DateWeight
Individual Class ParticipationOngoing20%
Individual Post-Class Reflection PapersClasses 1 > 12 (6)40%
Group In-Class WorksheetsClasses 2 > 11 (4)20%
Group Business Design Solution ReportClass 1220%

Required Resources

Please note you are required to purchase a custom workbook for this class (at cost). Required readings and supplemental materials will be provided on Quercus.

Last Updated: 2023-01-18 @ 9:53 am