The Innovative Technology Leader

Stanford Graduate School of Business

How long?

  • 10 days
  • online

Stanford Graduate School of Business


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Who should attend

  • Senior-level technology executives with at least 10 to 15 years of management experience
  • Executives with responsibility for building and deploying technology to serve their enterprises
  • Examples of appropriate titles: chief information officer, chief technology officer, chief marketing officer, vice president of information technology, and vice president of product development

About the course

Explore the intersection of innovation, technology, and business, and learn to drive strategic change across your organization.

The live online program is packed with engaging and interactive learning experiences. Through live sessions and group-based exercises participants will have the unique opportunity to engage with faculty virtually in real-time.

We are living through a tremendous inflection point in history. Explore rapidly accelerating trends in innovation and technology and their implications for you as a technology leader. Recognize and seize your opportunity to write the playbook for the new normal.

Strategy. Innovation. Leadership. Today’s technology leaders need skills in all three areas. In a time of unprecedented change, the key to success is learning how to keep pace on a global scale, to innovate, and to nurture and develop value-creating ideas across your organization

Over the course of three weeks, you’ll work with Stanford GSB faculty and peers from around the globe to learn how to anticipate and respond to the complex and rapidly changing issues in the world of information technology. Experience design thinking as you apply this human-centered, prototype-driven process to your own business practice and personal leadership style.

Uncover the subtle and often-unseen dynamics underlying technology trends. Learn how to recognize the key drivers of innovation and understand the critical role of effective leadership.

Tailored to the complex and changing role of the technology leader, this unique program combines faculty-led learning, Silicon Valley speakers, and applied design thinking to teach strategy, innovation, and leadership.

Key Benefits

Acquire data, tools, and techniques to drive change and leverage technology across your organization.

  • Explore how current technology changes in cloud computing, mobile devices, social media tools, and other areas are driving global growth.
  • Leverage technology changes for competitive advantage.
  • Observe and understand the needs of users and customers through design thinking principles.
  • Strategize about how to create a culture to support innovation.
  • Recognize ways to build personal power and influence in your organization.


How can you create a culture of innovation to drive growth and performance? How can design thinking add value to information technology? What strategies and tactics are needed to move your organization forward?

The Innovative Technology Leader will help you both anticipate and respond to the complex and rapidly changing issues in the world of information technology.

Program Highlights

Innovation Frontiers: The Neuroscience of Decision-Making

To better understand your customers and their purchasing decisions, you must first understand how humans fundamentally make decisions. A substantial proportion of these decisions are shaped by basic instinctual systems and processes that are not only automatic but also nonconscious.

Throughout the course of the two sessions, we will unravel these basic neural systems, placing an emphasis on the liking and the wanting systems. In the process, we will highlight the critical role that emotion plays in the customer decision-making process and the ways by which one can shape emotion to foster greater loyalty toward and willingness to pay for an offering.

We will also discuss the downside of focusing on price rather than the brand to create a superior customer-value proposition and, based on our understanding of the instinctual brain systems, the effective incentive systems that can be set for your customers.

Organizing for Product Market Fit

This course takes the perspective of the general manager and explores two key facets of strategic leadership: setting strategic direction and managing the strategy-making process in established companies.

You will discuss the key challenges associated with creating and maintaining long-term vision and profitable growth in established enterprises, and then analyze the interplays among the business, corporate, divisional, and personal levels of strategy-making.

The Challenge of Change and an Ambidextrous Organization

Explore how, as a leader of your organization, you can balance the tension between the short term and the long term. We will focus on the use of culture as a potential source of competitive advantage — or disadvantage.

Our emphasis will be on providing you with a framework and a set of tools for thinking about culture as a social control system, especially in the face of disruptive change. Building on a congruence framework, you will also explore how leaders can use organizational culture as a powerful social control system within business units.

Design Thinking

Get a firsthand experience of the key tenets of design thinking, and find out how you can incorporate them into your work. Using design thinking as a framework, you will tackle a hands-on innovation challenge that will allow you to explore the principles of human-centered design, including empathy, rapid prototyping, collaboration, iteration, and feedback.

You will also engage in a conversation about disrupting the managerial status quo, amplifying your organization’s strengths and addressing some critical obstacles.


Hau Lee

Hau L. Lee is the Thoma Professor of Operations, Information and Technology at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His areas of specialization include global value chain innovations, supply chain management, global logistics, inventory modeling, and environmental and social responsibility. ...

Hayagreeva Rao

Research Statement Professor Rao studies collective action within organizations and in markets. His research and by implication, his teaching, revolves around scaling up mobilization, innovation, and talent in organizations. Teaching Statement Professor Rao teaches courses on Scaling up Excellenc...

Baba Shiv

Research Statement Baba Shiv's research expertise is in the area of neuroeconomics, with specific emphasis on the role of neural structures related to emotion and motivation in shaping decisions and experiences. His recent work examines the interplay of the brain’s "liking" and "wanting" systems ...

Robert Burgelman

Research Statement Robert Burgelman carries out longitudinal field-based research on the role of strategy in firm evolution. He has examined how companies enter into new businesses (through corporate entrepreneurship and internal corporate venturing as well as through acquisition) and leave other...

Charles O'reilly

Research Statement Professor O’Reilly’s research spans studies of leadership, organizational demography and diversity, culture, executive compensation and organizational innovation and change. Teaching Statement Professor O’Reilly has taught courses for MBAs and executives in organizational innov...

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The Innovative Technology Leader at Stanford Graduate School of Business

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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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