Idean Leadership Series

Idean Design Academy: Empathy Intensive

Leading Transformation with Empathy

We hear over and over that one of the hallmarks of truly successful leaders is empathy. It turns out, however, that few people know what it really means, how to develop it and how to deploy it. Cognitive Empathy, the type of empathy that drives breakthrough innovations, is not an innate human skill. While many think it’s a feeling or a state of mind, in truth it a body of knowledge that you gather through using concrete, strategic tools, and techniques. It is something that must be studied and practiced to gain mastery and when used correctly, it yields incredible results.

At Idean, we know that cognitive empathy is the number one driver that creates resilient, innovative companies that capture and retain loyal customers in today’s market. We love to share great ideas and have developed this workshop to give you a fast-paced and exciting deep dive into our all-time favorite secret weapon. Prepare to roll up your sleeves and dive into an open, collaborative session, other successful leaders. Leave equipped to construct change and drive success with the power of practical empathy.

Join the Idean Design Academy’s two day course ‘Lead your design led transformations with true empathy’ for an immersive look at empathy – how to develop it at a personal level, and how to create a culture of empathy.

  • Creative environment

  • Challenge yourself

  • Graduation ceremony

There is a direct link between empathy and commercial success. The top 10 companies in the Global Empathy Index 2015 increased in value more than twice as much as the bottom 10 and generated 50% more earnings.Harvard Business Review

An Immersive Two-Day Program

This empathy intensive provides two days of practical hands-on learning and skill advancement:

Day 1:

  • Understand how companies unlock and leverage the ROI of empathy in today’s market
  • Dissect and analyze corporate empathy fails, and understand your current risk profile and potential impact of an empathy fail
  • Begin maximizing your empathy skills and impact with a highly personalized tactical plan for how to optimize your specific strengths and overcome your innate roadblocks to using empathy strategically

Day 2:

  • Unearth and take command of hidden beliefs that limit your effectiveness as a leader
  • Gain insight through exploring case studies of business empathy wins
  • Get hands-on experience creating bold rituals to drive team productivity through helping them ignite their work with personal purpose
  • Get detailed insight into your current customer and organizational landscape
  • Create a detailed strategic roadmap for understanding your deploying empathy as a transformative tool in your workplace and with your customers

  • Mary Lukanuski, Director of Design at Autodesk:

    "The most important thing when designing experiences that involve AI or machine learning – is empathy."

  • Iran Narges, Director of Service Design at Capital One:

    "Empathy is hugely important in my work. The concept of understanding and listening to other people is universal and critical."

  • Ben Matthews, Director of Design at Adobe Spark:

    "Empathy is just inherently part of our culture."


  • Michelle Trudo

    Director of Idean Design Academy, Idean

    Michelle leads the Idean’s Design Academy with a blend of years of industry and academic experience. She is passionate about facilitating design thinking practices, training, and education for design teams and business leaders. Michelle believes design teams and business leaders can align and drive better customer experiences with measurable outcomes by practicing design thinking methods.

  • Chuck Hildebrand

    Insights and Education Lead, Idean

    Chuck is the Insights and Education Lead for the Idean Design Academy. She draws on her experience as an experience researcher, strategist and educator to help people dive into design thinking with gusto so they can quickly see its effects in their work and in lives. She is always hunting for ways to weave practical empathy into systems and interactions so that people feel supported, understood and, ultimately, triumphant.

  • Joanna Sim

    Design Strategist, Intuit


Questions? Email us

Thoughts From Idean Design Academy Alums