HPI In-house Train the Trainer Program for Design Thinking Coaches

Today, more than ever, continuous innovation, constant learning and effective collaboration are essential factors for successful companies. At the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany, we have been coaching teams through all kinds of design thinking formats for about fifteen years. Our experience has shown that in order for innovation teams to reach their full potential, they need the guidance of well-trained design thinking coaches. 

As such, the HPI Academy has designed an In-house Train-the-Trainer Program for Design Thinking Coaches. The program aims to train a cohort of employees from the same organization to become design thinking coaches, and thus ambassadors and multipliers of innovation within their own respective areas of work. 


  • Participants learn to recognize the potential of innovation teams and how to activate them,
  • to apply and teach the methods and principles of design thinking and
  • to discover their own coaching style and develop their coaching skills.

Key Facts

On Site


The entire duration of the program is 12 days, spread over the course of a few months. 

Workshop language

We offer to conduct the program both in German and English language.


The trainings take place in a location proposed and organized by the client, but we also have training facilities which we can offer upon request.

Target audience

In order to run the program, we need a minimum of ten participants, although these can be from sister or partner organizations.

To successfully train employees as multipliers of an agile, human-centered work culture, program participants should be selected very carefully. The following factors play a role: 

  • Position or role within the organization 
  • Prior design thinking experience 
  • Coaching and/or teaching experience is helpful, but not a must 
  • Individual motivation 
  • Option to apply the learnings afterwards/get further practice

On request, the HPI Academy can support the selection process.


For your organization:

  • Scale collaboration and innovation in your organization by training an internal cohort of coaches.
  • Work on your own challenges in the scope of the program and come up with workable plans.
  • Benefit from a compact and intense program, where learnings can be implemented straight away.

For trainee coaches:

  • Gain confidence in your design thinking coaching skills by practicing in a safe environment.
  • Receive detailed, one-on-one and personal feedback on your coaching from our expert HPI trainers.
  • Collaborate and network with peers and colleagues to form an internal community of support.


The program consists of three modules: (1) Coaching a Team (2) Practice and (3) Coaching in Context. Each module is four days long. The entire duration of the program is 12 days, spread over the course of a few months. 

Module 1: Coaching a Team

This module gives participants the chance to refresh and deepen their understanding of design thinking and learn the basics of coaching a design thinking team. Through various activities and exercises, participants will experience design thinking as a mindset and process. They will then jump straight into practicing team coaching, with a team of their peers. Here, they will learn to accompany the through the design thinking process as well as to perceive team dynamics and respond appropriately. 

Module 2: Practice

In this module, trainee coaches will get the chance to coach external participants through a complete workshop. Here they will always be accompanied by our experienced coaches, who provide support and give individual feedback. The purpose of this module is to encourage participants to build up their confidence through experience and give them a chance to experiment with different coaching styles. They will also leave the workshop with an expanded toolbox of basic and advanced design thinking methods.  

Module 3: Coaching in Context

This workshop aims to place the activity of team coaching within the broader context of the company or organization. As such, this module mainly focuses on the preparation and follow-up work that a coach undertakes in order to lead a successful design thinking project. We start by exploring different formats for design thinking projects. Using a real-life challenge submitted by a sponsor from within the company, teams then design a detailed project roadmap which takes into account the bigger picture, such as the organization or company’s strategy, internal culture or constraints. At the end, participants present their work and map out a plan of action. 

Your Coaches