Masters Certificate in Innovation Leadership

Schulich Executive Learning Centre

How long?

  • 14 days
  • in person

Schulich Executive Learning Centre


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Who should attend

This innovation certification program will benefit leaders charged with any size innovation mandate – from developing strategies to developing offerings to leading teams and influencing a culture of innovation, including:

  • Vice-Presidents, directors and senior managers
  • Line leaders in all areas of organizations that can benefit from innovative thinking; in particular Product Development, Service, Marketing and Sales, Operations and IT
  • Staff leaders who are accountable for improving their organization’s innovation culture and skills (e.g., HR, Strategy or Project Management)

About the course

Unique in North America, the Masters Certificate in Innovation Leadership is both comprehensive and practical.

Very few managers, directors and senior executives have the word innovation strategy in their title, yet they regularly encounter thorny challenges which could benefit from being approached in new ways, with fresh eyes. In these cases, cultivating innovative thinking takes specific know-how – tools, techniques and approaches – to systematically pull the levers which enable the creativity and insights to flow. Getting to a solution which adds value and delivers results in a new way is a matter of understanding and following an innovation process.

Forget innovation for innovation’s sake. It’s about solutions which add value and deliver results in new ways.

With insights gleaned from decades of global experience in the innovation strategy space across all industries and sectors, this program has been designed help leaders build the strategic and process innovation capability required for success in today’s uncertain times.

Course content details

Certificate in Strategic Leadership and Innovation

This five-day certificate will provide the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully lead innovation projects, from strategic planning to the development of new products to making operational improvements. Through in-class exercises and case studies, you will learn how to seize untapped business opportunities, create competitive advantage through innovation strategy and apply design and systems thinking for an integrated approach to delivering growth.

The Essential Links

  • Define innovation in your organization
  • Identify strategic levers of innovation

Innovation as a Practice

  • Learn how to apply the FourSight assessment
  • Study the principles of creative thinking
  • Explore how to overcome barriers

The Challenges of Leading an Innovating Organization

  • Examine the critical nature of innovative thinking
  • Identify the challenges of leading innovation
  • Learn how to conduct an effective risk assessment

How much and what kind of Innovation do you want?

  • Explore types of innovation
  • Examine the forces driving relentless change
  • Learn how to avoid being blindsided

Innovative Company Site Visits

  • Visit organizations that emphasize culture, space and engagement

Introduction to Design Thinking

  • Examine the critical nature of insights
  • Explore the design process and application

Innovation as a Process

  • Develop expertise in each stage of the four-step innovation process

Making Innovation Happen

  • Learn how to build the case for change
  • Determine the kind of change that is needed
  • Learn how to overcome resistance
  • Develop stakeholder influencing strategies

The Culture of Innovation

  • Explore how culture enables or suppresses innovation
  • Learn how to transform an existing culture into an innovative one

Leading Breakthroughs

  • Learn how to lead self, team and enterprise-wide innovations
  • Consider how to integrate tools, skills and mindset

Design Thinking 2.0: Certificate in Tools and Techniques with a User-Centered Approach

Long-term business success requires the ability to develop and sustain innovations that anticipate, meet and exceed user’s current and future needs. Innovative businesses understand that the development of innovative products and services utilizes a different approach to product and service development than traditional incremental thinking. Using the most relevant tools and techniques with a focus on user needs at the outset increases the likelihood that proposed solutions will achieve commercial success.

Creating a Plan and Identifying Challenges

  • The case for user-centered design
  • Key principles, philosophy and creative problem-solving framework
  • The importance of empathy, addressing physical and emotional needs
  • Planning your approach to solving challenges
  • Finding and clarifying opportunities

Making Discoveries

  • Deep customer discovery and design inquiry
  • Techniques to understand your customers better
  • Hands-on exploration of issues
  • Identifying your most powerful discoveries and insights
  • Reverse engineering

Insights & Generating Ideas

  • Diverging and converging guidelines
  • Identify the most crucial elements of your discoveries
  • Apply different tools and techniques to generate game changing ideas
  • Concurrent prototyping to accelerate validation

Prototyping and Acceptance

  • Qualitative and quantitative methodologies for idea validation
  • Barriers to adoption and stimulating innovation adoption
  • Learning from experimentation and failing fast

Catalyzing Implementation

  • Accelerating buy-in and implementation
  • Keeping the momentum going
  • Tailoring approaches for future projects
  • Personal reflection and application

Certificate in Leading a Culture that Innovates and Executes

While many organizations focus on addressing problems, the most successful ones focus on raising the bar. One of the most effective ways to reach new heights is to focus on creating a culture of innovation. Contrary to popular belief, the success of winning organizations rests not on ‘innovative’ leaders, but on leaders who can create, lead and sustain a culture of innovation.

Creating a Culture of Innovation

  • What is culture and what is a culture of innovation?
  • The characteristics and behaviours of a culture of innovation
  • How culture forms and how to change it

Leading an Innovative Organization

  • The steps to transforming a culture to a culture of innovation
  • Levers to accelerate change
  • Develop an action plan for a culture of innovation

Experience Innovative Cultures

  • Learn from a variety of innovative environments
  • See cultural innovation up close and personal
  • Apply new thinking and strategies to your existing culture Innovation, Intrapreneurship and Influence
  • The role of risk in successful innovation
  • Identify intrapreneurial behaviors and actions
  • Developing strong influencing strategies to break old patterns, bad habits, entrenched behavioural mindsets and typical reactions

Lessons from the Trenches

  • Round Tables with Senior leaders
  • Conversations around real challenges you are facing
  • Applications and next steps


David Weiss

Biography David S. Weiss received his doctorate from the University of Toronto and has three Master’s Degrees in psychology, education and philosophy. David is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and has been honoured with the “Distinguished Lecturer” certificate from the Government of Canada. ...

Lee-Anne McAlear

Lee-Anne McAlear is Program Director, Centre of Excellence in Applied Innovation Management for the Schulich Executive Education Centre, York University. Lee-Anne is an experienced facilitator, writer, consultant and speaker with a background in innovation, leadership development, strategic plann...

Megan Mitchell

Program Director, Centre of Excellence in Innovation Management, author and founding partner of Mitchell Consulting. Megan is one of Canada’s top innovation practitioners with over 20 years experience in innovation, marketing, sales, HR and leadership. Her passion is leadership effectiveness to b...

Rob Lajoie

Biography Rob LaJoie is the Managing Partner and leader of the consulting and implementation practices for Ideaction Inc. He is an experienced business leader, manager and practical innovator who applies the process of innovating to solve real business problems. Rob’s expertise lies in the areas...

Shane Saunderson

Biography After sneaking away from a small-town prairie farm, Shane spent his early career as an entrepreneur in North America and Europe focused on product design, robotics and connected devices. He later joined Idea Couture, a Design Thinking and innovation consultancy, to combine his technical...

Andrew Maxwell

Andrew Maxwell is the Bergeron Chair in Technology Entrepreneurship at the Lassonde School of Engineering, York University (Toronto), where he teaches courses in technology entrepreneurship, renaissance engineering and technology commercialization. He has received multiple teaching awards, includ...

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Masters Certificate in Innovation Leadership at Schulich Executive Learning Centre

From  CAD 12 500$10,225
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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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