Wharton School of Business

Mastering Innovation: From Idea to Value Creation

Available dates

Jan 13—17, 2020
5 days
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
USD 11280
USD 2256 per day
Jun 7—11, 2020
5 days
San Francisco, California, United States
USD 11280
USD 2256 per day


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About the course

Amazon, Buzzfeed, Netflix, and Uber are a small sampling of companies that have completely reshaped the landscape of their respective industries within a short period of time. They entered markets with new technologies or radically different approaches to doing business leading to the demise or decline of industry incumbents.

The good news is that such disruptive innovations are not random acts of nature — there is a pattern to the phenomena. From the radical innovations that shake up entire industries to the many small innovations that perfect the execution of already successful organizations, innovation can be treated as a process, one that can be managed and turned into a driver of profits and growth.

Mastering Innovation Program Highlights and Benefits

  • Become the catalyst for organization-wide change
  • Uncover the patterns that comprise disruptive innovation
  • Understand the competitive dynamics of technology
  • Identify future threats to ongoing growth
  • Create strategic opportunities that outpace competition
  • Construct an architecture that drives innovation across business cycles
  • Inspire a culture of innovation throughout your organization

Experience & Impact

Mastering Innovation will demonstrate that innovation is a process that can be managed and perfected.

When it comes to mastering innovation, executives must:

  • Understand the competitive dynamics of technology, enabling them to identify future competitive threats and internal opportunities for growth.
  • Learn the tools and principles to actively manage the process of creating and selecting exceptional opportunities, and discover how to direct those opportunities to meet the strategic needs of the business.
  • Improve their own creative problem-solving skills and develop these skills in and throughout the organization.

First, executives have to understand how changes in technology, regulations, and consumer preferences will lead to new opportunities for incumbents and entrants alike.

Second, executives need to actively manage the process of innovation. Exceptional opportunities do not just happen; they are made. They can be created and selected through innovation tournaments, an organizational process in which many raw opportunities are considered at the outset and only the best survive selection.

Third, executives need to develop creative problem-solving skills. Such skills include the ability to walk in the shoes of the customers, to turn unmet customer needs into problem statements for development teams, to create and evaluate a broad set of alternative solution concepts, and to quickly validate new concepts in the market.

By developing these skills throughout the organization, more employees can be engaged in the process, leading to more effective innovation tournaments and building a culture of innovation.

Program Format

Mastering Innovation includes two online sessions prior to your arrival on campus. These sessions will include an introduction to an innovation tournament, a hallmark of this program. This advanced preparation will build your innovative mindset and peer-to-peer learning community before the program begins.

In-class session topics include:

  • Technological Disruption
  • Open Innovation: Engaging the External Innovation Ecosystem
  • Organizing for Innovation, and the Effective Use of Individuals and Groups
  • Ideation: Generating Ideas and Divergent Thinking
  • Design Thinking and Its Application in Organizations
  • Rapid Validation of Ideas and Lean Innovation

Who should attend

The ideal participant is an executive who is responsible for leading innovation, regardless of these efforts being internal (improving business processes) or external (developing new products, services, and lines of business). Beyond those who have innovation in their job title, executives who are responsible for driving top-line growth, managing portfolios, or tasked with creating new business models will also benefit.

Potential job titles and roles include:

  • Director, senior director, vice president in large corporations
  • CEO, president, senior vice president, general manager in mid-size enterprises
  • Founders or CEOs of rapidly growing, successful entrepreneurial ventures
  • The program’s content is relevant across industries. Executives in the following industries will find the program’s content particularly valuable:

  • Financial services

  • Pharmaceuticals and health care

  • Manufacturing and consumer products

Trust the experts

Christian Terwiesch

BusinessWeek, the Financial Times and the Sloan Management Review have all featured Christian’s novel, process-based approach to innovation outlined in his latest book, Innovation Tournament. Christian’s current research centers on health care and innovation management. He has researched and cons...


Karl Ulrich

A holder of more than 20 patents for medical devices, tools, food products, sporting goods, and more, Karl’s expertise is in innovation, entrepreneurship and product development. He is the co-founder of the Weiss Tech House and the Integrated Design Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Karl...


Course reviews

Mastering Innovation Program: A Culture of Innovation

Mastering Innovation Program: The Innovation Tournament

Mastering Innovation: From Idea to Value Creation Program Overview

Mastering Innovation: A Faculty Perspective

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