Courses · · 2 min read

Strategy Essentials for Designers

A design leadership course to learn the fundamentals of strategy and rethink the role of the design executive. Learn a better idea of what strategy is and how to do it.

Strategy Essentials for Designers


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

You need a new approach.

In this course, learn the fundamentals of strategy to see what matters, amplify your strategic sense, and take bold actions you feel confident in.

In this course, you’ll baseline the strategies of the company, product, and teams around you.

  • Understand the difference between strategy and a strategic plan
  • Understand how an org strategy is compared to a corporate, business, or product strategy
  • Understand the four elements of a good strategy
  • Capture your current strategy

Who is this for?

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

Program goal

Push past confusion and learn the fundamentals of what strategy actually is, the role it plays, and the purpose of doing it. Understand the difference between strategy and a strategic plan, then how those differences will help you rethink your role as a design executive

Topics Covered

Corporate vs. Business vs. Org Strategy

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 Path to Strategy

Quickly identify the four steps that companies take to develop their business strategies, and learn how to remix those steps as an effective approach to developing your team strategy.

The Four Elements of a Good Strategy (and their Heuristics)

Every good strategy has four key elements; Vision, Priorities, Measured Outcomes, and a Game Plan. Go beyond these basics and learn the heuristics behind what makes each element a good one.

Visualize the Shape of Business Strategy

Use a visualization exercise to learn how decisions get made at your company and where power resides. Whether it's via MBA skills or relationship skills, this activity will give you a rapid way to assess the love languages used at your company to get things done.

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 Strategy Essentials for Designers today


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