How to plan for ‘eureka moments’ when you need to innovate

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Many people are familiar with the Greek word “eureka” and use it to signal joy over the unexpected discovery of something new or innovative. Ever since it was uttered by Archimedes, people have been on the lookout for “eureka moments” – when a new idea comes to light and helps solve a problem.

But in a time of disruption and rapid change when innovation is essential to business survival, waiting for those moments to come along is no plan for success. Companies need more reliable methods of improving their products and services incrementally over time.

It is possible to plan for innovation and that’s what Schulich ExecEd’s Masters Certificate in Innovation Leadership is all about. The Certificate in Design Thinking 2.0: Tools and Techniques with a User-Centred Approach is the second module in the program and outlines how to go about it.

On the first day, participants will learn about planning and identifying the challenge and hearing the case for customer-centred design. The emphasis is on planning your approach to solving challenges and finding opportunities.

Unlike Archimedes in his bathtub (where he uttered the famous phrase “eureka”), program participants will learn on day two the techniques for making discoveries by looking deeply into how to ask customers the right questions that will help you truly understand their needs and identifying your most powerful discoveries.

A robust plan for learning what customers want sets the stage for day three and how to deal with the insights and competing ideas. Here again, participants will learn to apply tools and techniques to generate game-changing ideas and accelerate the process of validating them.

In the fourth module, participants will take a deeper dive into qualitative and quantitative methodologies of validating ideas and prototypes. They will learn about barriers to adopting new ideas, stimulating acceptance and learning from experimentation – especially how to “fail fast” and speed up the innovation process.

Day five is about implementation. How an organization accelerates buy-in and successfully mounts implementation programs is studied, along with how to keep innovation momentum going and tailoring approaches for future projects.

If you want to experience smaller eureka moments more often, this program will show you how.


Certificate in Design Thinking 2.0: Tools and Techniques with a User-Centred Approach is one of three modules making up the Masters Certificate in Innovation Leadership (starting April 26, 2021). For more information and to register, visit the program web page. Each module in the program is also available as a standalone course.

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