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Darden School of Business

Leading Innovation: Transform Yourself, Your Team and Your Organization

Michael J Gelb - How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci
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In the flood of new business ventures and increasingly discerning consumers, every corporation must jockey for greater relevance and game-changing ideas to win a spot as an industry leader. But only professionals who go below the surface — who challenge their basic assumptions about creativity, progress and true leadership skills — can discover their real capacities for greatness and inspire others to do the same.

At a Glance

Generate innovations that outpace the competition. In Leading Innovation: Transform Yourself, Your Team and Your Organization, you'll cultivate the habits and mindsets of innovators throughout history to open the floodgates of creativity among your teams and generate ideas you can take to market with confidence.

The Program

Practice thinking more creatively and develop a culture of innovation. You'll study leaders like Howard Schultz at Starbucks, Bob Johnson at Honeywell Aerospace and Thomas Edison to identify the behaviors and ideologies that propelled their successes. You'll identify actionable methods to overcome the challenges inherent in innovation, including organizational inertia, managerial resistance to risk and failed communication between departmental silos. Under the guidance of Jim Clawson, one of Darden's distinguished leadership and organizational behavior experts, and Michael Gelb, an internationally renowned speaker, best-selling author and executive consultant, you'll identify your vision, mission statement and values as an innovator and build a strategic plan to reform your organization's approach to change.

Where You'll Excel

  • Discover the step-by-step process that generated Thomas Edison's ideas for the electric light bulb, phonograph and motion picture camera - and brought them to market.
  • Increase awareness of your own strengths and values when you receive personalized feedback on your leadership style.
  • Learn how to talk about innovation in terms stakeholders and shareholders can understand.
  • Practice integrating the innovation process into daily business routines.
  • Identify the best techniques for breaking you and your direct reports out of habitual patterns that stunt growth.

Schedule & Topics

  • Challenges to Innovation
  • Collaborating for Innovation
  • Creating Super Value
  • Developing a Solution-Centered Mindset
  • Full-Spectrum Engagement
  • Innovation and World-Class Performance
  • Innovative Action Planning


You'll walk away from Leading Innovation with:

  • A plan to overhaul your organization's innovation process - in just 90 days
  • Expert feedback on your own innovative thinking skills and ways to strengthen your creative capacity
  • Techniques to accelerate learning and promote cross-disciplinary generation of new ideas
  • Preemptive solutions to potential barriers to innovation, including low-resource procedures to test new ideas before taking them to market
  • The ability to anticipate market need, expand your product and service lines, and position your company as an industry leader

Who should attend

This program is designed for executives, managers and directors from all industries and organizations, particularly those who want to increase opportunities for growth, overcome corporate inertia and realize the latent growth potentials that already exist in their businesses.


Education: A.B., Stanford University; MBA, Brigham Young University; D.B.A., Harvard University Professor Emeritus James Clawson has published a number of books including: Finding FIT(a comprehensive web-based approach to job search); Level Three Leadership 1-5th eds; Powered by Feel: How Indivi...
Michael J. Gelb is the world’s leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational development. He is a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership. Gelb leads seminars for organizations such as DuPont, Genentech, ...


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