The next intake of Design Meets Business starts on January 13, 2020.

Space is limited to 30 participants, so apply now to reserve your spot.

Note: The early-bird deadline for this session is Tuesday, November 19th.

Learn the language of business, level-up your IMPACT.

Design Meets Business

Whether you're a designer or design leader, this course will teach you practical approaches to working with your business partners. Approaches that you can turn around and use immediately.

As a result you’ll be more confident in business meetings, understand the level of design maturity needed at your organization, and level-up your ability to align with your business partners. You'll learn new ways to:

  • Understand contextually, how business is done

  • Measure and monitor design value at two speeds

  • Communicate and negotiate priority and risk

“This course delivered way beyond my expectations and I’ve been sharing the lessons weekly with my team and partners.”

- N. Y.; Co-Founder, VP of Design


assignments, one per week


hours per week, at your own pace


virtual meetings, just 3 required 


peer reviews of your work 


Designs Meets Business has been taken by designers from:


“This program has really given me a fresh perspective to see the business around me in a different way. The practicality involved has been super timely and relevant.”

- S. M.; Head of Design


Program Details | The Experience | What makes this program unique? | Deliberate Practice | The Outcomes | Who is this for? | Expectations of Participants | The Cost

Program details

Design Meets Business is a 6-week, part-time online workshop, designed for seasoned product managers and designers who want level-up the perceived value of design inside their organization. Participants will learn how to design for business impact, by embracing the overlaps of design and business. You'll get:

  • 20+ tools and frameworks to apply and use in your role now
  • 300 minutes of custom, video-based content
  • 36+ additional resources for deeper dive learning

Throughout this program, I’ll be sharing advice drawn from my own experiences of leading design, product, strategy, and development organizations and teams. I’ll also be sharing insights from others. I will give practical guidance that you can try for yourself that has worked for me in the past.

Design Meets Business is a comprehensive overview of how design and product leaders at companies like Apple, IDEO, InVision, USAA, etc. apply known business and design methodologies to influence the cultures of decision-making. With a focus on practical tools and quality-interactions between participants, Design Meets Business assembles leaders facing similar challenges to share and develop their skills.

By the end of the program, you will have practical tools and approaches work more closely with your business partners, to help decide a path forward for everyone on a team.

The program is designed for product and design leaders working with or apsiring to work with senior stakeholders. Featuring relevant and proven examples from leaders across industry, this program is completely virtual, so participants can participate from any location.

What does the Design Meets Business program experience look like?

We focus on delivering impact as efficiently as possible. That means focused content, limited participation, and acknowledging many of your have day jobs. Your time is valuable and we're not here to waste it.

When you join the Design Meets Business program you get access to:

1. Applicable Materials

Each week contains 1 topic to learn, with video and written materials supplied to support that learning. All courses will be led by Ryan Rumsey and he will provide applicable methods to apply all materials to your current work.

The curriculum is comprised of known frameworks and tools, as well as original tools and approaches to applying those materials. All content will be shared via Slack, Zoom, and Google Drive.

Alumni of each program will have access to all relevent materials on a week by week basis, with all content being accessible to participants as reference material post-completion.

2. Real World Examples from Industry Experts

We share examples from real world case studies and industry experts will join us to share their case studies.

How is Atlassian leveraging UX Scorecards to measure design success? How is WeWork? How are design teams using balanced scorecards to communicate busines value?

How might you use Behavioral Modeling to learn the motivations and abilities of stakeholders and colleagues? How might you conduct Scenario Planning or Differentiation Strategies to influence decision-making at your company? We'll walk through these examples and more.

3. Deliberate Practice, Critique, and Reflection

At Second Wave Dive, we believe that one must practice a skill to apply a skill. We also believe design leaders have little time to practice stakeholder and relationship management skills. Each week, we dive into practicing and applying these skills.

4. AMA's with Industry Experts

Ever want to ask those hard questions with industry experts? We're here to support those converstaions. We'll have top design and product experts join us in AMAs to discover how they've applied the course materials in their own way, how they've been successful (or not) in doing so, and what they might do differently the next time. Hear from leaders at companies like InVision, USAA, IDEO, Visa, and more.

5. Communities of Practice

Second Wave Dive programs are designed to promote community. While we know many industries and companies are different, we know many peers share similar professional experiences. Our Slack communities will provide a safe space to share specific questions and answers with fellow participants in your cohort. The community is here to support you and vice versa. To get the most our of our programs, participation in the community is vital.

6. Remixing of craft

Rather than creating all original material, we have discovered that what often works best is applying known approaches with a new perspective.

What makes this program unique?

Being a product or design leader is one of the most fulfilling careers in today’s job market. It can also be incredibly lonely. While there are many sources of information we love, (meetups, conferences, etc.) finding peers and safe places to practice new skills can be hard.

To combat this, Second Wave Dive seeks to provide support at one of the most fundamental levels, community. Through healthy community, regardless of where you live, we’re all connected. Through that connection, we create incredible impact.

Our programs ask experienced professionals to dive into the deep-end of the intersection between design and business. In all of our programs, participants will learn through deliberate practice. With deliberate practice inside a community, participants will be inspired by industry leaders and engaging in safe places where critique and feedback can be shared without recourse.

While business leaders desire new skills to take on these challenges, many still struggle to understand the value product and design brings to everyday decision-making and overall viability.

Unfortunately, when this misalignment of expectations and realities are present, many product and design leaders are facing the realities of project false starts, team frustrations, colleague and stakeholder confusion, and employee turnover.

That's why we created Second Wave Dive.

Deliberate practice

Our programs deliver a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While in-person workshops and self-led education might include overviews or initial repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and we conduct our programs with the specific goal of improving performance over time. Deliberate practice provides participants with:

Practice over understanding: We love books, videos, and conferences. We also know how hard it is to apply that knowledge to your everyday work. You’ll spend time practicing what you’ve learned to apply that knowledge to your challenges. Perspective over prescriptions: To think differently, we must see differently. Our format challenges participants to view the perspectives of others about ourselves. Progress over perfection: Our cohorts are limited to 30 people peers facing similar challenges. We intentionally focus on iterative approaches to creating progress rather than waiting for perfection to occur first.

All company cultures are unique, but everyone faces similar challenges around the cultures of decision-making. The difference between leaders who succeed and those who fail is how they approach those challenges.

What are the outcomes participants can expect?

While much of design or product education available is focused on craft, Second Wave Dive goes beyond craft. If you're looking for If you want a laundry list of tactics like "make your buttons orange," the Growth Series program isn't for you.

Second Wave Dive programs are designed specifically to help participants apply their craft to stakeholder and colleague partnerships. By doing so, participants develop winning partnership strategies, which in turn create differentiation for organizations, teams, and themselves.

By the end of Design Meets Business, you will:

Develop new perspectives of your stakeholders and colleagues Develop new perspectives of your approach, team, and the value you provide to your organization Construct a Balanced Scorecard approach to measure the impact of design on business value Learn how to communicate how a business executive communicates Align design and product decisions to the math of business viability

All participants who successfully complete the program will recieve a certificate of completion.

Who is Design Meets Business for?

Second Wave Dive programs are not intended for everyone. We select participants on their level of experience, who they work with, and what opportunities they see. We work best with:

Seasoned product and design professionals working directly with or aspiring to work with senior stakeholders and colleagues Leaders who are crafting strategy and operational initiatives Leaders of people, teams, and organizations Leaders looking to continue their professional development Design looking to progress into leadership roles

What we expect from participants

Our programs are designed to work with your schedule. We do have deadlines to ensure each cohort get the benefits of the community of practice format.

We expect all participants are required to agree with our Code of Conduct. We expect participants will enforce this code throughout the program and beyond, in our digital channels, our calls, and in any in-person interactions. We expect each participant to complete all assignments by the weekly deadline. We understand this may be a challenge, so each participant is permitted to miss one deadline without consequence. If a participant misses more than one deadline, that participant will be removed from the cohort without a refund. Coursework can be completed at your desired pace and time commitment. We do expect the work to take a minimum of 4-5 hours per week. We expect all participants to provide feedback to at least 3 other members of the intake within 24 hours of the assignment due date. * We have three mandatory meetings. The Meet-N-Greet call, the Mid-Point Check-in, and the Graduation call.

The cost

$1595 - Full price

$1395 - Early-bird; (October 7 - November 19, 2019)

We encourage participants to be sponsored by their organizations to ensure managers are supportive of the curriculum and time commitment. Need tips for sponsorship? Try building a business case.

The curriculum


We've designed Design Meets Business to spend 4-5 hours per week on reviewing materials, working on an assignment, and providing critique/feedback to fellow participants. While the work can be done in 4-5 hours, at your own pace, we do find that those who commit 6-8 hours of work get more practice, which boosts confidence in applying these newly learned skills.

Here's what a typical week will look like:

  • Weekly material released via Drive. We’ll provide access to new materials every Monday via Google Drive. This material will include videos, presentations, and templates to leverage.

  • Slack community 24/7. We’ll provide a private Slack community for each cohort, ensuring participants have a safe space to ask questions, provide commentary, share resources, etc.

  • Weekly assignments. Every participant will be required to complete a weekly assignment. Post-assignment, every participant will be required to provide feedback in a structured format to at least 3 peers. After receiving feedback from others, each participant will be required to reflect on their assignment and provide any updates as to how they might approach the work differently.

  • Live AMA with experts. We'll be providing live AMA virtual events, inviting top product and design leaders to share with the cohort. This events will be 60 minutes in length and include experts from companies like Mailchimp, USAA, InVision, etc.

While the full syllabus is still being established, we’re looking for lighthouse participants to help us frame the appropriate breath and depth of the materials. As an overview, weekly assignments will include the following:

  • Collective Impact

  • Business Strategy for Team Strategy / Differentiation

  • Behavioral Map / Model / Call-to-action

  • Pyramid Principle / Answer First

  • Working with the math / Viability

  • Scenario Planning

  • Balanced Scorecards

Ready to apply?