Comprehensive course analysis
Who should attend
- Executives with at least 10 years of work experience, in roles that give them the ability and responsibility to start new projects or ventures within their companies or divisions
- Examples of appropriate functions and titles: vice president, managing director, development officer, and director — from medium-size to large companies, from any industry, and from any country
- Individuals from one company or multiple participants who — if attending as a four- to six-person team — are guaranteed the opportunity to work on their own company project, advancing innovation and creating immediate value for their organization
About the course
Develop best practices and insights to generate and lead innovation in your organization; then put theory into practice with real-world projects.
Innovation isn’t just for startups. In fact, large, established organizations have even greater opportunities to innovate — from the incremental to the truly transformational. Driving Innovation and New Ventures in Established Organizations is the place to start.
The Driving Innovation program is where senior-level leaders dig in, get their hands dirty, and learn how to inspire change. It all begins by asking the big questions: Why do you need to innovate; where is organizational innovation going to happen; do you have the right innovation skills, culture, and people to implement? And, what organizational issues stand in your way? Using strategic frameworks, best practices, and implementation tools you’ll begin to develop the right answers for your organization.
Every day after morning classes, you’ll work in small teams on an actual innovation project. You’ll build a business model, develop project milestones, and create an action plan for implementation that addresses internal resistance. You’ll work with a communications coach to hone your presentation skills and then pitch your team project to your fellow senior executives. This is learning by doing; this is innovation in action.
Gain a set of comprehensive, actionable tools to move from idea to plan for execution so you can successfully drive change and innovate from within.
- Learn key skills and business practices for execution: finance, design thinking, strategy, behavioral psychology, organizational design, marketing, value chain, leadership, storytelling, and culture.
- Identify and overcome the challenges that established companies face when trying to innovate.
- Learn how to sell your idea within your organization, whether it involves introducing a product, entering a new market, making a strategic pivot, creating an innovation arm, or changing the organizational design.
- Develop a business model, implementation plan, and pitch presentation for an actual innovation project. Work on a company-specific project if you attend as a small team.
- Build a strong network of peers with whom you can interact and exchange ideas.
Why do established companies need to innovate? Does it make more sense to incubate internally or create a new external venture? Should you buy or build?
Innovation is never easy, especially in established organizations. Coming up with the right ideas is the first step. Figuring out how to sell them, get support, and implement takes a unique set of innovation skills and innovative leadership.
The organizational innovation curriculum is carefully designed for senior-level leaders in large companies to help you design, generate, and lead successful innovation. And it will help you answer even more questions, including:
- Which ideas are worth pursuing?
- How do you identify and overcome obstacles to change?
- Should you set up an innovation arm?
- Do you need to change the culture to support organizational innovation?
- How do you introduce an entrepreneurial mindset throughout your organization?
The two one-week modules on campus combine classroom lectures with hands-on team projects, visits from guest speakers, coaching sessions, and pitch presentations. The curriculum encompasses design fundamentals, leadership strategy and innovation, and practical tools to use on real-world business challenges.
Below are just a few of the sessions you’ll attend as part of the program.
The most common and substantial barriers to entrepreneurship and innovation within large organizations will be examined in this session. These include factors such as internal organization challenges, restrictive decision-making processes, missing competencies (such as the ability to evaluate innovation), institutional and individual attitudes toward risk, organizational politics, and more. You will then identify the set of tools required for overcoming these challenges.
Thinking Inside the Box
Research shows that you will deliver more creative solutions if assigned a task that includes restrictions compared with a task in which you have free reign. It turns out that, with creative tasks, structure helps. This finding also extends to tasks in which people are asked to ideate new products or develop concepts for marketing campaigns. In this session, we will discuss an approach to product ideation that introduces five templates or “recipes” that can help you structure your thinking and develop both incremental and disruptive ideas. We will discuss each template and practice applying it, workshop-style, to your own products or services.
The Power of Storytelling
Successful innovation creates a new normal, a new way of being for individuals or businesses. Successful innovation disrupts industries; it drives success. We all want to innovate, but how do we do it? To innovate, you not only need a big idea, you also need people to create it and people to buy into it. Story fuels innovation. Stories have long held the power to transform the listener; to take listeners on a journey that changes how they think, feel or act. In business, stories can drive innovation and impact by painting a clear picture of what is and what could be for everyone from employees, to customers, to investors and the media. In these two sessions, we discuss what it means to tell stories in business. What makes an effective story? And when can you use them? We will focus on innovation, but also explore other applications of story.
Research Statement William Barnett studies competition among organizations and how organizations and industries evolve globally. He is conducting a large-scale project that seeks to explain why and how some firms grow rapidly in globalizing markets. His prior research includes studies of how stra...
Research Statement Professor Rao studies collective action within organizations and in markets. His research and by implication, his teaching, revolves around scaling up mobilization, innovation, and talent in organizations. Teaching Statement Professor Rao teaches courses on Scaling up Excellenc...
Research Statement Professor Strebulaev is an expert in corporate finance, venture and angel capital, innovation financing, corporate innovation, and financial decision-making. His recent work has examined the valuation of VC-backed companies, decision making by startup investors, returns to VC i...
Research Statement Robert Burgelman carries out longitudinal field-based research on the role of strategy in firm evolution. He has examined how companies enter into new businesses (through corporate entrepreneurship and internal corporate venturing as well as through acquisition) and leave other...
Research Statement Yossi Feinberg’s research centers on the analysis of information in strategic decision making. He works on the modeling of costly decision making, reasoning about unawareness, dynamic interactive decisions, reasoning about high order uncertainties, and more. Some of his work in...
Research Interests Time, Money and Happiness The Power of Story Global Brand Building Emotions, Goals and Health The Psychology of Giving Bio Dr. Jennifer Aaker is a behavioral psychologist, author, and the General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her research focuses...
Research Statement Jonathan Levav studies consumer behavior and behavioral decision theory. He combines laboratory and field experiments, as well as secondary data analysis, in order to study the factors that influence people's choices and judgments. His research on choice focuses on three inter-...
Research Statement Professor O’Reilly’s research spans studies of leadership, organizational demography and diversity, culture, executive compensation and organizational innovation and change. Teaching Statement Professor O’Reilly has taught courses for MBAs and executives in organizational innov...
Research Statement Professor Lowery's research seeks to extend knowledge of individuals' experience of inequality and fairness. His work suggests that individuals distinguish between inequalities framed as advantage as opposed to disadvantage. This finding affects how individuals perceive inequal...
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