Prepare to Design the Future
March 19–20, 2017: Training
March 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

TRAINING: 2-day MBA: Essential business skills for designers

Derek Alderton (UCLA Anderson School of Management)
9:00am–5:00pm Monday, March 20, 2017
Location: Hampton
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

What you'll learn

  • Understand the concepts, vocabulary, and priorities of senior management


Derek Alderton guides you through EMBAD, an intensive, interactive, in-person, two-day program for experienced design professionals who have progressed in their careers to the point where they need to interact and deal effectively with senior management (C level and boards) who do not have design backgrounds and are primarily “business professionals.”

You’ll gain an understanding of the concepts, vocabulary, and priorities of senior management by discussing a series of real-world situations as though you were actually part of the senior executive team. The program follows the key situations and decisions faced by the senior team at Audeze, a headphone company that in five years has grown from four people building headphones as a weekend hobby to a company with $10M in yearly revenue. (The company’s first professionally designed consumer headphone, by Designworks, is now available in Apple retail stores.)


Day Two

We need more and different people to buy our new products. How do we market to them? We need to reduce the manufacturing costs for our new products and get our supply chain certified. How do we do that?


  • Who are our consumers? Who will buy our new products?
  • What messages/themes/people do our target markets respond to?
  • How much do we spend? On what? When?


  • How do we build a global supply chain?
  • How do we reduce cost while maintaining or improving quality?
  • What is our learning curve?
  • How do we integrate continuous product development with production?
  • Crisis! What just happened? What do we do?

What are our investors thinking about? How do we get our money out?

Advanced strategy and finance

  • Growth and exit options: M&A, IPO, PE funds, etc.
  • What is a listed company? Why are they different?

Competitive dynamics

  • How do we assess future markets?
  • Will competitors force us down the cost curve?


Photo of Derek Alderton

Derek Alderton

UCLA Anderson School of Management

Derek Alderton is the faculty director of the Anderson Strategy Group in the MBA program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Derek has been an adjunct faculty member at the Anderson School for 10 years, developing and teaching courses in entertainment strategy, entrepreneurship and venture initiation, entrepreneurial operations, and strategy. His student teams have won multiple awards in the Applied Management Research program. Before starting his own boutique management consulting firm, Derek spent 10 years at McKinsey & Company, where he was responsible for the West Coast Media & Entertainment practice and became a leading expert on the impact of technology on entertainment business value chains. His clients ranged from established global entertainment companies to the fastest-growing technology companies, including some exceptional startups. He has been on the faculty at numerous McKinsey and other corporate training programs, has spoken at a wide variety of technology, media, entertainment, and entrepreneurship conferences, and has been published multiple times. Derek holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, degrees in law and economics from the University of Sydney, and a diploma in finance from the Securities Institute of Australia. He is also a chartered accountant (US CPA equivalent).