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Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Fostering a Culture of Game-Changing Innovation

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What does it take to be a disruptive leader? Do you need to be a brilliant agitator like Steve Jobs? A driven workaholic with a passion to change the world like Tesla’s Elon Musk? There’s more to success than being loud and charismatic; truly disruptive leaders are always looking for ways to take existing ingredients—the same ones everyone else has access to—and combine them in unique ways. This course helps participants develop the mentality needed to become a disruptive leader and inspire an organizational culture that values and encourages new ideas. They will learn to rethink the habits that have made them successful in the past, and challenge the conventional wisdom and industry models that have defined their business.

Taught by NYU Stern Clinical Associate Professor Luke Williams, a leading innovation consultant, speaker and author of the international bestseller Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business, participants will delve into the motivation and mindset of a disruptive leader. The course combines presentations and discussion with hands-on activities where participants apply disruptive innovation principles to business issues and scenarios. They will leave with practical exercises that help guide teams through the innovation process, from examining hypotheses to generating ideas to crafting a compelling pitch.


Upon completion of this course, participants will receive a Certificate of Achievement. This program is also eligible for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits through NASBA.

Program Takeaways

During this course, participants will:


Develop the attitude and critical thinking skills needed to become a disruptive leader of innovative teams and organizations


Build an awareness of thinking habits that keep teams and organizations locked into the status quo


Practice using tools, frameworks and exercises that help break teams out of tired habits in order to discover innovative ideas and opportunities


Day 1

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast

Session 1: Ideas as Recipes for Generating New Value and Wealth

  • Introduction to understanding the value of ideas and innovation
  • Applying disruptive leadership to innovation challenges

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Lunch

Session 2: Provoking Organizational Processes and Behaviors with Disruptive Hypotheses

  • Identifying the assumptions and conventions that influence the way producers and consumers think about your business
  • How to break through the boundaries of your industry situation
  • Generating deliberately unreasonable "what if" questions

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Networking Reception

Day 2

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast

Session 3: Building and Leading Disruptive Teams

  • From command and control to connect and collaborate
  • The importance of innovation leadership
  • Building and leading disruptive teams

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Lunch

Session 4: Pitching Disruptive Ideas to the Organization and External Stakeholders

  • Establishing the inadequacy of the status quo
  • Delivering unexpected insights and opportunities to foster curiosity
  • Building belief in the value an idea delivers

5:00 pm - 5:30 pm: Program Conclusion and Evaluations


Biography Luke Williams joined New York University Stern School of Business in September 2012 as Executive Director of the W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab and Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship. He was previously an adjunct professor. Professor Williams is also a Fellow a...


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