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Stanford Graduate School of Business

Available dates

Mar 8—May 22, 2020
12 daysModules info
Stanford, California, United States
USD 25500
USD 2125 per day


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About the course

Learn how to translate ideas into action using strategic frameworks and design thinking; then put theory into practice with real innovation projects.

Experience two one-week modules on campus filled with lectures, hands-on team projects, visits from guest speakers, coaching sessions, and pitch presentations at the end. In between the modules, you can apply your newfound strategies and insights on the job and work to further develop your project with team members, supported by faculty.

Every morning, you will learn strategic frameworks based on cutting-edge research from Stanford GSB faculty. Every afternoon, you’ll put theory into practice, working in small teams on an actual innovation project.

You will start at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (, where you will learn the fundamentals of design thinking. You’ll build a business model, develop project milestones, and create an action plan for implementation that addresses internal resistance. You will work with a communications coach to hone your presentation skills and then pitch your team project to senior executives. This is learning by doing; this is innovation in action.

Key Benefits

Gain a set of comprehensive, actionable tools to move from idea to plan for execution so you can successfully drive change and innovate from within.

  • Learn key skills and frameworks for executing innovations: finance, design thinking, strategy, marketing, value chain, leadership, storytelling, and culture.
  • Identify and overcome the challenges that established companies face when trying to innovate.
  • Learn how to sell your idea within your organization, whether it involves introducing a product, entering a new market, making a strategic pivot, or changing the organizational design.
  • Build a strong network of peers with whom you can interact and exchange ideas.
  • Potentially develop your company’s new venture or tackle a business challenge (guaranteed if four to six participants from one company attend).

Program Highlights

Corporate Entrepreneurship

In these sessions, you’ll study the most common and substantial barriers to entrepreneurship and innovation within large organizations. These include factors such as internal organization challenges, restrictive decision-making processes, missing competencies (such as the ability to evaluate innovation), institutional and individual attitudes toward risk, organizational politics, and more. You will then identify the set of tools required for overcoming these challenges.

Competitive Strategy for Corporate Entrepreneurs

“The Corporate Entrepreneur helps you take an idea and develop it, evaluate it, communicate it, and, finally, have the tools to execute on it.”

Yossi Feinberg, Faculty Director

At the core of a new-venture business model, we have the logic of the business: Why would this particular new venture be able to capture the value created by the innovative business? The answer to this question typically involves some form of a competitive advantage or a barrier to entry.

In this session, we will study the variety of competitive structures and forms of competitive advantages. These will translate to competitive strategies for the newly developing venture, based on the current organization strategy, competitors, and potential new entrants.

Harnessing Stories for Innovation and Growth

Successful innovation creates a new way of being for individuals or businesses. It disrupts industries and drives success. To innovate, you not only need a big idea, you also need people to create it and people to buy into it.

Story fuels innovation. Stories have long held the power to transform the listener; to take them on a journey that changes how they think, feel, or act. In these sessions, you’ll discuss what it means to tell stories in business, what makes an effective story, and when to use them. You will focus on innovation, but also explore other applications.

Financing Innovation

A key step in leading innovation within your enterprise is obtaining the resources needed to fund that innovation. To do so, it is usually necessary to convince others of the financial and strategic merits.

In these sessions, we will see how we can build a financial model that will allow us to make the decision of whether to fund a new investment in a product, project, or business.

How Strategic Innovation Happens

The business world is being transformed worldwide by innovative entrepreneurial firms. Established corporations have so much more going for them than do tiny startups, and yet often they are left behind by the new, innovative strategies of the startups.

In this session, we describe how it is that new, innovative strategies actually come into existence, and why it is that established firms are often disrupted by these innovations. In the process, we will learn about a consistent pattern that seems to occur when innovative strategies emerge.

Who should attend

Executives with at least 10 years of work experience, in roles that give them the ability and responsibility to start new projects or ventures within their companies or divisions

Examples of appropriate functions and titles: vice president, managing director, development officer, and director — from medium-size to large companies, from any industry, and from any country

Individuals from one company or multiple participants who — if attending as a four- to six-person team — are guaranteed the opportunity to work on their own company project, advancing innovation and creating immediate value for their organization

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