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Harvard Business School

Leading and Building a Culture of Innovation

Dec 8—13
6 days
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
USD 15500
USD 2583 per day

How it works


As digital disruption accelerates, the demand for innovation leaders is escalating across all industries. Focused on driving organizational performance and growth, this lab-style leadership innovation program immerses you in every stage of the process—from rethinking your strategic vision and business model to building a collaborative culture that encourages idea sharing and creativity. You will return to your company ready to turn breakthrough innovation into a competitive advantage.

Key Benefits

Viewing innovation as an essential leadership capability, this program goes beyond product and strategy development to examine the social processes that enable and inspire routine, company-wide innovation. You will leave with a richer understanding of what it takes to lead creative and productive teams—and empower others to collaborate and innovate each day.


Inspire continuous and productive innovation

  • Foster a new level of peer-to-peer collaboration
  • Unleash the collective genius of your colleagues
  • Create a culture that promotes both incremental and breakthrough change
  • Enable all areas of your organization to innovate more boldly and consistently

Adjust your leadership approach to spark creativity

  • Create a supportive environment that enables people to take risks, experiment, and even learn from their failures
  • Empower others by modeling and encouraging behaviors that drive creative thinking and collaboration
  • Work effectively with peers and upper management to facilitate necessary cultural change and realize the potential of pioneering ideas

Expand your personal and professional network

  • Extend your network by living and working with accomplished executives from various backgrounds, industries, and countries across the globe
  • Build relationships with a diverse group of peers who can provide wide-ranging insights into your business challenges and career decisions

What You Will Learn

Through a rich learning experience that includes faculty presentations, small group exercises, simulations, and case studies, you will learn how to drive innovation across every business function. This lab-style innovation program immerses you in the real-world process of exploration, experimentation, failure, and examination. You will discover new ways to surface and develop ideas—and unleash the collective genius that enables successful organizations to innovate over time.

Balancing Collaboration and Personal Reflection

While the corporate innovation program emphasizes team collaboration, you also will engage in guided self-reflection and a unique approach to peer coaching that is designed to boost your creativity and expand your innovation mindset as you continue your leadership journey.

Your Innovation Challenge

During the program, you will have the opportunity to define an innovation challenge facing your organization, present it to a small group of peers, and obtain valuable feedback that can help you develop an action plan for achieving your goals.

Key Areas

Understanding the realities of innovation

  • Exploring the differences that distinguish vision, innovation, and change
  • Considering innovation broadly as any new idea that can help your organization succeed
  • Recognizing that innovation is a mandate for everyone in every function
  • Identifying the common practices that can stifle collaboration and innovation

Developing a leadership approach that fosters innovation

  • Accepting the responsibility for driving innovation
  • Understanding the leader's role as social architect
  • Becoming a change agent and advocating for change at all levels of your organization
  • Balancing the inherent tensions and paradoxes of leading innovation
  • Fulfilling three key leadership imperatives—managing yourself, your team, and your network—in ways that facilitate innovation

Building the capabilities for collective genius

  • Creating more opportunities for productive collaboration
  • Recognizing how diversity expands the range of possibilities and elicits more ideas
  • Growing contextual intelligence to compete and thrive in different environments
  • Fostering trust and a shared sense of purpose and values
  • Developing an effective marketplace of new ideas
  • Understanding and managing creative abrasion, creative agility, and creative resolution
  • Institutionalizing experimentation, risk-taking, and the tolerance for failure

Creating a culture of innovation in your organization

  • Designing spaces that support collaborative problem-solving
  • Introducing new rules of engagement
  • Identifying and overcoming obstacles to collaboration and innovation
  • Evolving decision-making processes to align with the nature of innovation
  • Allowing multiple ideas to be combined rather than choosing one over the other
  • Embracing the often messy process of collaborative innovation

Who should attend

Leading and Building a Culture of Innovation is ideal for general managers or other senior executives in any industry whose responsibilities include leading innovation and change. These might include leaders of business units, divisions, or other large-scale organizations, or other executives with cross-organizational responsibilities. Ideal participants will have at least 15 years of experience.

The program is suitable for leaders from companies of any size—not only for senior executives from large, established organizations but also leaders of startups or directors of innovation labs.

Innovation can be valuable in any part of the organization. While the program is appropriate for leaders of R&D who focus on developing new offerings, it is equally appropriate for leaders from a wide range of business functions such as corporate strategy, finance, legal, human resources, marketing, manufacturing, customer service, or sales. Given the program's emphasis on team collaboration, culture, and organizational transformation, it is appropriate only for individuals who are currently leading an organization—not individual contributors or consultants.

The program welcomes individuals or teams. When several executives from one company attend, their shared insight enables them to implement the program's frameworks with greater impact.


Faculty Chair, Leadership Initiative Linda A. Hill is the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and chair of the Leadership Initiative. Hill is regarded as one of the top experts on leadership. Hill is the co-author of Collective Genius: The A...
Ryan Raffaelli is an assistant professor in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School. He co-created and teaches the course "Leadership Execution and Action Planning" (LEAP) in the MBA elective curriculum and previously taught "Leadership and Organizational Behavior" (LEAD) in t...
The practice Maurizio Travaglini co-founded in 2003--Architects of Group Genius--is focused on co-design, a topic that lies within the blurred boundaries of innovation, learning, change, and collaboration. In the past 10 years, Maurizio has designed and facilitated over 200 collaborative working ...


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