How to Lead Innovation

Smith School of Business

Smith School of Business


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Who should attend

  • Senior managers and executives leading innovation or transformation
  • Professionals in innovation roles including product design, technology, R&D, operations, organizational development, and strategy
  • Senior leaders with quantitative strengths looking to expand their skill set with innovation
  • High-potential leaders on the path to senior roles wanting to grow their competencies in leading strategic change and innovation
  • Any leader looking to expand their ability to solve complex business problems

About the course

The innovation opportunities with the greatest power to transform and grow organizations are also the hardest to identify and execute. Too often, teams stay within the bounds of current thinking and assumptions when what’s needed is to unleash creativity and fresh perspectives.

This program provides leaders with proven methods to achieve real innovation for complex business challenges. It develops the mindsets, behaviours, self-awareness, and leadership tools to drive successful innovation in any organization.

The unique two-module format allows for reflection and assimilation of learnings.

The program takes place in downtown Toronto at the OCAD U CO studio environment on the waterfront and SmithToronto in the financial core. These open and dynamic learning spaces play a key role in the program, fostering creativity and collaboration

What you will learn:

  • How to develop new innovation opportunities using a robust design thinking framework and method including strategic foresight, user research, ideation, prototyping, and storytelling
  • How to define your role as a leader in driving innovation in your organization
  • How to spot the engrained business mindsets which may be limiting your ability to lead innovation, and learn to adopt mindsets that will enable innovation
  • To better understand your own strengths and development areas through the lens of five archetypical leadership roles, and learn to lead through your strengths


At the end of the program, you will have mastered a methodology for identifying and taking advantage of innovation opportunities. Equally important, you will have gained a better and deeper understanding of yourself as a leader and how to best lead teams to innovation breakthroughs.

Program content

  • Understanding innovation mindsets
  • Using strategic foresight to sense drivers of change
  • Prioritizing future trends and developing implications
  • Generating and prioritizing opportunities for innovation
  • Using creative ideation methods
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Storytelling for innovation and change
  • Developing a personal vision for innovation leadership


Melissa Quinn

Melissa is a partner and practice lead for Performance Coaching. She brings 20+ years of experience in senior strategic roles including leadership coach, strategy and innovation advisor, head of training and development, and COO of Doblin, Deloitte’s global design and innovation practice. She tea...

Job Rutgers

Job is currently a full professor in Design at OCAD University in Toronto. At OCADU, he has co-designed the Industrial Design Curriculum (BA) and the Design for Health curriculum (MA). At OCADU's digital futures initiative, job is the principal investigator of the Ambient Experience Lab. MaRS hel...

Videos and materials

How to Lead Innovation at Smith School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.