Courses · · 2 min read

Business Essentials for Designers

A design leadership course to learn the language of business and communicate how design impacts the big picture. Learn the essential frameworks, tools, and skills taught in leading MBA programs, without the high price tag.

Business Essentials for Designers • Design Leadership Course


If you want better outcomes, you must connect design to the language of business. You’ve asked your colleagues to explain the business model and strategy, but you struggle to get a clear answer. Worse, you get contradicting responses.

You need a new approach.

In this course, learn how your company creates, delivers, and captures value to determine how Design informs the strategic direction and focus of your company.

In this course, you’ll visualize your company's business model, strategic direction and focus.

  • Learn your Company's Business Model
  • See the Business Opportunities
  • Connect Design to Business
  • Inform Strategic Decision

Who is this for?

Designers, DesignOps, Design Managers, Design Directors, Design Executives

Program goal

Understand the difference between business models and business strategy. Determine what stage your company is at and how that impacts the overall direction the company is moving in and what they’re focusing on to succeed. Learn how to frame design recommendations based on this awareness.

Topics Covered

Michael Porter’s Generic Strategies

Companies use three generic strategies to gain a competitive advantage. Learn this fundamental business concept developed by Michael Porter and understand which business strategy design is catalyzing.

The Business Model Innovation “magic” triangle

Quickly identify the four dimensions of your company's business model: (1) the target user, (2) the value your company creates for the user, (3) how your company delivers value to your customers, and (4) how your company captures value (money) in return

Business Models vs. Business Strategies

Learn the difference between two fundamental concepts in business: business models and business strategy. Break through the confusion with two essential questions every designer should ask.

Business Direction vs. Business Focus

Understand how the stage of your company significantly impacts the competitive advantage they're going for and focus. Learn how the effects of scale change the focus from growth to revenue generation.

Meet your Instructor

Ryan Rumsey

For 20+ years, Ryan worked as a designer and executive at Apple, Electronic Arts, USAA, Nestlé, and Comcast. He is also the author of Business Thinking for Designers.

Ryan spent 10+ years as the senior design leader charged with building and scaling design organizations.

For the last four years, Ryan has been teaching design executives, leaders, and teams as CEO of Second Wave Dive and lead instructor of CDO School.

Get access

Take Design + Business Fundamentals today


Read next

Design Org Strategy for Design Directors and Executives • Design Leadership Course
Courses · Featured

Design Org Strategy

A 9-module, 139-lesson design leadership course for Design Directors and Executives. Determine your Design Org Strategy with the vision, priorities, measurable outcomes, and tactics to lead your team forward.