Diploma in Strategy Development and Innovation

The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

How long?

  • 13 days
  • in person

The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School


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Who should attend

  • Individuals with at least 5 years of managerial experience;
  • Senior executives seeking to enhance their skills in contributing to strategy development and innovation;
  • Managers involved in strategic planning, implementation or change management;
  • Individual contributors who are tasked with managing the strategy process;
  • Advisors and Management Consultants.

About the course

Central to the long-term success of any organisation, strategy defines direction and creates scope to gain competitive advantage. It is what elevates truly extraordinary leaders above merely ordinary ones by enabling them to develop and implement effective business strategies while maintaining motivation, innovation and vision in their people.

Knowledge gained, skills learned and links established on the programme will enhance career potential and directly benefit the organisations that participants work with. The programme provides participants with the insight and understanding needed to lead organisations in a complex global business environment.

Key Benefits

Participants develop their capabilities in making and executing effective strategic decisions and acquire deep insight into how to manage innovation and lead change.

Specifically, the programme will:

  • Equip the participant with the tools to assess and address the strategic challenges that face their organisation;
  • Provide learning strategies for turning resistance into co-operation and for extracting maximum benefit from new opportunities;
  • Improve strategic decision-making capability in addition to the ability to re-think strategy in the light of new economic and business realities;
  • Build up an in-depth understanding of the strategic decisions that individuals need to make to support and apply innovation.

Programme Structure

This programme is delivered over a series of 6 two-day workshops within a 10–month period. Workshops are held on Fridays and Saturdays to minimise interference with busy work schedules. The programme structure is designed in order to facilitate busy work/lifestyles and to assist participants integrating study into their working lives while enhancing their contribution as a member of the management team.

Assessments and Workload

This programme involves no examinations – instead the emphasis throughout is on the practical application of knowledge to benefit you and your organisation. Assessment workload is spread across the duration of the programme to allow you to combine learning with work and life demands. In order to accelerate learning, between modules participants are expected to complete assigned reading from texts, cases and articles. All continuous assessment is completed by participants either individually or in groups and this is set out in the study guide for each module. Some modules require pre-coursework in addition to the post-coursework which is set for each taught modules.



  • Address the role of the participant in strategy, innovation and change;
  • Develop a personal action plan that draws on foundational skills and cross-functional knowledge to create a strategy statement;
  • Gain an understanding of organisation culture and sub-cultures;
  • Develop self-awareness and critical assessment of key strengths and development needs as strategic leaders.


  • Review ways in which global economic shifts and rapid technological changes are transforming the business landscape;
  • Understand the traditional concepts of competitive advantage, value creation and strategy;
  • Develop an appreciation of the “megatrends” influencing the context for strategy over the next 5-10 years;
  • Develop an ability to construct and employ scenario thinking in the development of strategy;
  • Gain an informed perspective on the importance and costs of building strategic flexibility in the organisation.


  • Equip participants with a sound understanding of the principles of positioning and competitive advantage;
  • Design and evaluate an organisation’s market position;
  • Review and critique an organisation’s competitive strategy and evaluate the ability to provide a sustainable advantage;
  • Develop competitive strategy into a well-articulated and presented business plan.


  • Explore the skills required to evaluate the top management team’s ability and competence in making and implementing strategic decisions;
  • Acquire individual contributions to top management team decisions;
  • Gain insight into biases that adversely affect strategic decisions and apply techniques to overcome these biases.


  • Examine the nature of strategic decisions and how these differentiate from other forms of decisions;
  • Design and evaluate a business model;
  • Utilise real options reasoning in evaluating investment alternatives which is key component in decisions involving the adoption of new technologies, amongst other applications.


  • Develop insight and personal competence in leading an organisation through a transition to a more innovative organisation;
  • Explore why innovation is so critical in an organisation’s future and how to make it happen;
  • Understand change management processes and approaches to enable innovation in an evolving marketplace;
  • Strengthen leadership effectiveness and identify the barriers to and enablers of innovation in an organisation.


David Loree

Professor Loree joined the Ivey School of Business in July 2000. Before moving to Ivey, he was a faculty member in the Management Department at Texas A&M University, where he served as a core faculty member of the full-time MBA program. David received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Bra...

Damien McLoughlin

Damien McLoughlin is Anthony C. Cunningham Professor of Marketing and Marketing Subject Area Head at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Ireland, specialising in agribusiness strategy and business-to-business marketing teaching and research. Damien has served in a number of senior lea...

Raomal Perera

Raomal Perera is a veteran of multiple entrepreneurial ventures and an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at INSEAD where he currently teaches and studies entrepreneurship, innovation and the management of rapidly growing companies. Raomal has over 30 years of experience in the IT, Communicat...

Karan Sonpar

Professor Karan Sonpar joined University College Dublin in 2009. He earned his PhD from the University of Alberta, Canada. He has held prior academic appointments at IE Business School, Spain and University of Manitoba, Canada. He served as Captain in the Indian Army prior to his PhD. His work ha...

Patrick Gibbons

Patrick is Jefferson Smurfit Professor of Strategic Management at UCD School of Business and Academic Director, Smurfit Executive Development. Before entering academia, Patrick worked in a number of financial analysis, corporate strategy and senior HR roles with KPMG, Jefferson Smurfit Group, The...

Ciaran Heavey

Dr. Ciaran Heavey joined the UCD School of Business in 2009 as a Lecturer in the Department of Management. He completed his PhD at the University of Connecticut School of Business. His research interests are on top management teams, strategic entrepreneurship, and organizational ambidexterity. E...

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Diploma in Strategy Development and Innovation at The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

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