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Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders Live Online

Unite your design background with world-renowned managerial and leadership expertise.

Oftentimes successful creative professionals find themselves having risen to managerial positions having little leadership or management training. Acting as the perfect blend of business and design, Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders Live Online allows a wide, rich network of architects, graphic designers, industrial designers, developers, and other creative professionals, to learn the business principles they need without sacrificing time away from the job they love.

The Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders Live Online curriculum is designed to accomplish two goals: first, to equip creative leaders to meet the challenges of management; and second, to give participants the skills and perspectives they need to reach the next levels in their careers. Instead of teaching management topics in separate, single-subject courses, Yale’s experienced faculty teach an integrated curriculum providing business frameworks and concepts in a rich, relevant context.

In this program, design-industry professionals broaden their management skills to complement their deep creative abilities and become well-rounded senior leaders. They strengthen strategic thinking to better tackle high-impact opportunities and drive innovation for growth. They develop soft skills to better influence, persuade, and negotiate with colleagues and clients. In addition, they learn how to lead change and learn the basics of accounting and finance to communicate better with their peers in finance.

This program’s live online format creates a highly engaging environment where participants are an active part of the program. Participant profile galleries within our learning platform enable learners to discover what they have in common with others. Break-out activities bring small, varied groups of people together in meaningful ways. Unique networking activities drive social connection with other passionate professionals to deepen learning and many of these budding connections bloom into what become lasting relationships. Participants often take advantage of the tools we provide to meet up with one another and continue growing together long after the program’s end. Come immerse yourself in both content and networking with our live online delivery.

Come push the boundaries of your leadership potential to move yourself and your organization forward.

About the Program

What to expect

  • Develop personal career aspirations with practical insights and inspiring perspectives.
  • Think strategically to meet the challenges of management, take advantage of business opportunities, and drive innovation for growth.
  • Develop soft skills to better influence, persuade, and negotiate with colleagues and clients.
  • Connect to a powerful network of creative professionals who share a passion for leadership and innovation.

Who Should Attend

Designed for mid-career or senior professionals, this program is ideal for designers and other creatives looking to become better leaders, drive innovation, navigate change, expand their network, or optimize their teams to drive growth. Averaging between 20 - 40 attendees a year, this experience is consistently ranked one of the most valuable experiences of participants’ careers.


Program Dates: May 19 - June 23 

May 19
May 26
June 2
June 9
June 16
June 23

Your cohort meets weekly, on Thursdays, for a full day of learning. Sessions typically occur between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. EDT, with some days running slightly shorter or longer depending on that day's agenda.

Below is a sample of what you can expect to experience in the Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders Live Online program.

Day One
  • Reflected Best Self
  • Emotional Intelligence: Awareness, Regulation, and Compassion
Day Two
  • Negotiations: Friendly Ambition and Value Claiming
  • Influence and Persuasion
  • Organization for Innovation: The Threadless Case Study
Day Three
  • Deciding to Decide: Decision Making for Leaders
  • Networks of Innovation
Day Four
  • Employee Engagement and Motivation
  • Organizational Change
  • Managing, Developing, and Retaining the New Generation of Talent
Day Five
  • Financial Accounting I & II
  • C-Suite Perspective Panel
Day Six
  • Organizing for Innovation
  • Team Building: Making High Quality Connections


Faculty and lecturers are subject to change.

Faculty Director

Rodrigo Canales
Rodrigo Canales

Lecturer in Organizational Behavior

Areas of Expertise: Economic Development, Emerging Markets, Entrepreneurship, Globalization, Organizational Behavior, Social Enterprise

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Rodrigo Canales does research at the intersection of organizational theory and institutional theory, with a special interest in the role of institutions for economic development. Specifically, Rodrigo studies how individuals are affected by and in turn purposefully change complex organizations or systems. Rodrigo's work explores how individuals’ backgrounds, professional identities, and organizational positions affect how they relate to existing structures and the strategies they pursue to change them. His work contributes to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that allow institutions to operate and change. Rodrigo has done work in entrepreneurial finance and microfinance, as well as in the institutional implications of the Mexican war on drugs. His current research is divided into three streams. The first focuses on the structural determinants of the quality of startup employment. The second, in partnership with the Hewlett Foundation, explores the conditions under which development policies and practices are built upon and incorporate existing, rigorous evidence. The third, with generous support from the Merida Initiative, explores how to build effective, resilient, and trusted police organizations in Mexico.

Rodrigo teaches the Innovator Perspective at the Yale School of Management; he sits on the advisory board of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT; he spent the 2014-2015 academic year advising the Mexican government on the US-Mexico bilateral relationship; and sits in the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy.

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Emma Seppala
Emma Seppälä

Lecturer, Yale School of Management

Areas of Expertise: Positive Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Well-being, Social Connection

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Emma Seppälä, Ph.D., is a best-selling author, Yale lecturer, and international keynote speaker. She teaches executives at the Yale School of Management and is faculty director of the Yale School of Management’s Women’s Leadership Program. A psychologist and research scientist by training, her expertise is the science of happiness, emotional intelligence, and social connection. Her best-selling book The Happiness Track (HarperOne, 2016) has been translated into dozens of languages. Seppälä is also the Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

Seppälä’s research has been published in top academic journals and featured in major news outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, and CBSNews. She speaks and consults internationally for Fortune 500 companies like Google and Facebook and contributes to Harvard Business Review, the Washington Post, Psychology Today, and TIME, among others.

A repeat guest on Good Morning America, she also spoke at TedX Sacramento and TEDx Hayward. Her research on breathing for military veterans with trauma was highlighted in the documentary Free the Mind. She is also featured in documentaries like The Altruism Revolution, What You Do Matters, and Bullied.

Seppälä is the recipient of a number of research grants and service awards including the James W. Lyons Award from Stanford University for founding Stanford’s first academic class on the psychology of happiness and initiating other well-being programs for Stanford students.

She graduated from Yale (BA), Columbia (MA), and Stanford (PhD). Originally from Paris, France, she is a native speaker of French, English, and German and conversant in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

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Daylian Cain
Daylian Cain

Senior Lecturer in Negotiations, Leadership, and Ethics

Areas of Expertise: Behavioral Economics, Conflicts of Interest, Corporate Governance, Ethics, Leadership, Negotiations, Organizational Behavior, Social Enterprise

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Daylian Cain is full-time faculty at the Yale School of Management, since 2007. Prior to joining Yale, Cain was the Russell Sage Fellow of Behavioral Economics at Harvard. Hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada, Cain has three master’s degrees and a PhD in Business from Carnegie Mellon. He likes to say that he focuses on “why smart people do dumb things.”

Fun Facts: Cain has guest-appeared on National Geographic’s TV show Brain Games, and his poker avatar (“Raising Cain”) is one of the final opponents you may face at

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Zoe Chance
Zoë Chance

Senior Lecturer in Marketing

Areas of Expertise: Influence and Persuasion, Decision-Making, Behavior Change

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Zoë Chance helps smart people become more influential. At the Yale School of Management, she teaches a popular elective called Mastering Influence and Persuasion, aka "Doing Uncomfortable Things That Make You a Better Person." Her research has been published in top academic journals like Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and Psychological Science, and covered in media outlets like the New York Times and the BBC. She has appeared on CNN and written for Harvard Business Review. Google uses her behavioral economics framework as the basis for their global food policy. Zoë speaks internationally for Fortune 500 firms and leading NGOs, and her TEDx talk, "How to Make a Behavior Addictive," has over half a million views. Prior to Yale, Zoë managed a $200 million segment of the Barbie brand at Mattel, acted on stage and film, and earned her bachelor's from Haverford College, MBA from USC, and doctorate from Harvard Business School. Her first book was published by Random House on February 1, 2022. It's called Influence Is Your Superpower: The Science of Winning Hearts, Sparking Change, and Making Good Things Happen.

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James Baron
James Baron

William S. Beinecke Professor of Management

Areas of Expertise: Careers, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, Labor Issues, Leadership, Nonprofit Management, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Design, Social Enterprise, Social Networks, Startups, Strategy, Women in Leadership, Workplace Issues

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Professor Baron’s research interests include human resources; organizational design and behavior; social stratification and inequality; work, labor markets, and careers; economic sociology; and entrepreneurial companies. Before coming to SOM in 2006, he taught at Stanford's Graduate School of Business from 1982-2006. At Stanford, he taught the MBA core course, Human Resource Management. He was co-director of the Stanford Project on Emerging Companies (SPEC), a large-scale longitudinal study of the organizational design, human resource management practices, and financial and non-financial performance measures of entrepreneurial firms in Silicon Valley. Papers based on the project appeared in leading disciplinary journals, and an overview of the project in California Management Review won the 2003 Accenture Award for making “the most important contribution to improving the practice of management.”

He is the author, with Stanford economist David M. Kreps, of a textbook, Strategic Human Resources: Frameworks for General Managers (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). Baron is also a regular contributor to leading sociology and organization journals, such as the American Sociological Review and Administrative Science Quarterly. His research has also been published in influential journals in economics and social psychology.

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Application Information

Registration for the 2022 session has closed. Join our Stay Updated mailing list to received updates about new program dates, agenda topics, and more. 

How to Apply

Interested applicants will need to submit:

  • A current résumé
  • A statement of intent explaining why you are applying to this program, how your experience has prepared you to enter this program, and how it will benefit you professionally.

Both documents can be uploaded as either a PDF or word document to the application form. Professional achievement and organizational responsibility are the main criteria for admission. There are no previous formal education requirements for admission. Acceptance is subject to the approval of the Yale School of Management Executive Education program committee. Applications are reviewed in the order they are received, and you can expect to be notified within 1-2 weeks from submitting a completed application.

If you have any questions about applying, please contact Lisa Kammert


Upon acceptance, you will be prompted for your payment preference. Course materials are distributed when the Learning Platform is live and once payment is received in full.  We recommend completing some pre-work before attending to get the most benefit from the experience.

Program Fee Assistance

Program fee benefits are available for those from nonprofits, Yale or Yale SOM graduates, or who are veterans. For more information about veteran financial aid options and eligibility please visit the Executive Education Veteran Benefits page. There are no scholarship opportunities for this program. Special rates cannot be combined.

15% reduction in program fee for groups of 3+

15% reduction in program fee if you have previously participated in a Yale Executive Education Program with Yale SOM, ExecOnline, or 2U/GetSmarter 

Apply code at time of registration
NONPROFIT – 15% reduction in program fee for those who work at a nonprofit
YALEGRAD – 15% reduction in program fee for Yale University or Yale School of Management graduates

Download our justification letter to guide conversations with an employer about fee assistance.

While it is our goal to deliver our programs as scheduled, we may postpone programs, deliver them online, or cancel them. If one of our programs has a scheduling change, we will notify those affected as soon as possible.  

Refund, Cancelation, & Deferment

Refunds are allowed for live online and in-person programs if requested in writing to the Executive Education Registrar ( 45 days prior to the course start date.  All cancellation requests 44 days or less will be granted a one-time deferment to a future program to be used within one (1) calendar year.    

Deferments are subject to approval to ensure that participants and programs are suitable.  If a new course is selected, additional fees may incur. 

Yale reserves the right to cancel or reschedule programs if enrollment is deemed insufficient or health and safety would otherwise be jeopardized.  Yale School of Management is not responsible for any travel or incidental costs incurred by a registrant if a program becomes cancelled. If a program is canceled by Yale, a full refund of fees paid will be processed within 30 days. 

Program Collaborator


Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders began in 2008 through a partnership between Yale Executive Education and AIGA, the professional association for design. As the profession’s oldest and largest professional membership organization for design—with more than 70 chapters and more than 15,000 members—AIGA advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage, and vital cultural force.


The Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders course with AIGA has consistently been a life-changing experience for design professionals. Hear what some of our graduates had to say:

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“The sooner you take this course, the sooner you get to apply its wisdom.” —Amanda Assadi, Senior Creative Director, Xandr

“If you’re trained in the creative arts and finding yourself more and more immersed with business as you attain heights of seniority, this course is for you. It provides an instructional approach to various business disciplines for not only you but also your clients. A truly invigorating course with esteemed faculty and a diverse cohort coming from almost every discipline and industry. Highly recommended.” —Amel Afzal, Director of Brand Marketing, Hearst Corp

“There is something magical about being involved in a design process with others, in a team in unison, where ideas grow exponentially, time pressure fades, and problems seem easy to overcome. This class shows you how that is possible, how it is constructed, and most essentially how it is led.” —Mark Faulkner, Associate Principal, Practice for Architecture and Urbanism

“Having originally enrolled in the in-person experience of BPCL, I was very concerned that the quality of instruction, and opportunities for networking and active learning with the cohort would be disappointing. I am so happy I was wrong. The cadence of instruction actually aided in deeper reflection, as each of us in the cohort was able to go back to our respective workplaces throughout the week to put theory into practice. I never pictured needing to return to in-depth academic instruction after I earned my Master’s degree, but BPCL was absolutely worth it at this point in my career.” —Chino Wong, Director of Product Design, Braze

“There are so many programs that will give you business information and frameworks, but this is the only one that relates to those of us with creative backgrounds and truly gives practical frameworks for use in your career immediately after a full day of sessions.” —Amanda Smith, Graphic Design Manager, Illinois State University