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Cambridge, MA

The Innovator's DNA: Mastering Five Skills For Disruptive Innovation

July 10-11, 2018

Every great innovator, from Jeff Bezos to Steve Jobs, excels at asking the right questions. Day-in and day-out they seek provocative new insights by getting out of their offices and into the real world, actively observing, networking, and experimenting to generate valuable new ideas. By doing so, they improve our lives and grow our economy, finding new solutions to the most challenging problems we face. Innovative entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs act differently to think differently and, in the end, they make a significant impact..


Building on hundreds of interviews and more than ten thousand survey assessments, Gregersen delivers unique insight into the behaviors of extraordinary innovators. Participants of this new program will learn and practice important discovery skills that lead to new and disruptive innovation, ranging from product improvement to new market creation, to generate valuable, new economic growth.


These key innovation skills include:


  • Questioning the status quo
  • Observing the world like anthropologists
  • Networking with diverse people to get new ideas
  • Experimenting in small, fast, and cheap ways to reach novel solutions
  • Connecting typically unconnected insights to deliver disruptive new business ideas

To put this innovation strategy into practice, participants will identify an individual challenge for which they seek a solution and commit to innovating around that challenge throughout the two days. They will also engage in a personal diagnostic assessment to better understand their own innovation and execution focused leadership skills.

This highly interactive program will help participants:


  • Gain deeper insight into their unique innovation skill strengths
  • Build questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting capabilities to surface new ideas and value-creating innovations
  • Practice questioning skills intensively through individual and group exercises
  • Apply skills to a real individual challenge
  • Evolve their existing corporate culture to better foster these five skills

Cambridge, MA

Innovation Ecosystems: A New Approach to Accelerating Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship

July 12-13, 2018

NEW for 2017

Innovation is a driver of productivity, competitive advantage, and enterprise value. But it does not happen in a vacuum. Innovation requires connections, just as entrepreneurship does, among key stakeholders?entrepreneurs, universities, risk capital providers, government, and large corporations. These connections are increasingly taking place in ?innovation ecosystems? and through programs such as accelerators, hackathons, prize competitions, and co-working spaces in which stakeholders and communities contribute and share resources (e.g., talent, ideas, infrastructure, money, and connections).


How can leaders harness the power of these open innovation ecosystems around the globe or in a specific region of interest for their organizations? If you are a business or government leader interested in engaging in an innovation ecosystem to find talent, ideas, and entrepreneurial ventures, this new program will provide you with the tools and frameworks necessary to take externally focused innovation and entrepreneurship activities to the next level at your organization.

Drawing on recent MIT research, this highly practical program helps leaders:

  • Understand why innovation is a challenge in their organization
  • Assess and identify the innovation hub(s) with which to engage (e.g. Boston, Israel, London, Berlin, etc.)
  • Consider how best to engage in these ecosystems?via hackathons, accelerators, venture competitions, etc.
  • Develop new organizational practices to break down internal silos and the ?fortress mentality? and shift toward a more open innovation ecosystem framework
  • Identify what their organization wants from the ecosystem?and what they can give back to it, with metrics that can track such changes


Participants in the program need not aim to become corporate entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs themselves, but they should want to understand?as leaders and managers?how to access external innovation and entrepreneurship from the ecosystem and accelerate internal innovation and corporate entrepreneurship.

This course is designed for executives in both public and private sectors, ranging from senior managers and corporate entrepreneurs to C-suite executives and future leaders. The program will also be of value to entrepreneurs, regional development officers, investors, and government policymakers.


Participants must be interested in encouraging innovation in their organizations or regions, especially through leveraging innovation ecosystems. Participants from both developed and emerging markets are encouraged to attend.

Cambridge, MA

Marketing Innovation

July 12-13, 2018

Even the most brilliant innovation can fail if you don?t know how to market it. In other words, just because you build it doesn?t mean they?ll come. Marketing Innovation helps participants leverage marketing concepts and research to better influence the outcomes of new products and innovations. Participants learn how to evaluate market attractiveness, think about the design and management of distribution channels, and understand pricing architectures.


The first day of the course provides a strategic and practical approach to understanding consumer decision making, analyzing company strengths, and assessing the competition. This strategic approach is applied to real world examples to help technical executives learn to identify the right product for the right market opportunity. On the second day, the course turns to practical issues, including pricing architectures, building channel relationships and marketing communications decisions. Participants will learn the pros and cons of digital marketing and explore how to leverage new digital techniques to optimize marketing outcomes.


After completing the two-day program, participants will have learned a common language that they can use to interact more effectively with the marketing and strategy professionals in their own firms.


Please note: Marketing Innovation is replacing Strategic Marketing for Technical Executives, also led by Professor Catherine Tucker. Because of some overlap in curriculum, this new program is not recommended for previous participants of Strategic Marketing for Technical Executives from the last four years.

Participants of this program will learn how and when to contribute to their organization's marketing strategy. Technical executives and non-marketing managers will learn how to: 


  • Develop a strategic framework for assessing market opportunities
  • Anticipate and take advantage of surprising inconsistencies in the customer decision process
  • Leverage pricing architectures best positioned to help capture value
  • Choose the digital marketing channels best suited for their product and market
  • Communicate more effectively with the marketing team

Maximizing Your Personal Productivity: How to Become an Efficient and Effective Executive

July 12-13, 2018

"Since the Great Recession, many professionals have been facing more challenging schedules and more daunting to-do lists. This makes it all the more important for professionals to be able to get their work done quickly and effectively." --Bob Pozen, Faculty Director

Maximizing Your Personal Productivity will show you how to get more done in fewer hours, so you have more time to spend with your family, or any other activity. The program offers many practical suggestions on improving your productivity and provides many opportunities for learning through doing. The course includes digital techniques to help manage your career and your team.

Faculty Director Bob Pozen is the former President of Fidelity Investments and Executive Chairman of MFS Investment Management. Bob was first interviewed about his own productivity when he was full-time chairman of a large asset manager and carrying a full teaching load at a distinguished university. That interview went viral, so he wrote a short book (Extreme Productivity), drawing upon his personal and professional experiences.

Based on the book, this program is designed to increase the personal productivity of professionals through a series of case studies, practical exercises, and background readings. It will encourage self-evaluation through polls and surveys about your work habits, and provides ample opportunities for learning through doing.

Designed for busy, experienced managers, this program will increase your personal productivity by helping you to:


  • Prioritize your goals and align your time allocation better with your top goals
  • Complete your high-priority projects efficiently by focusing early on the final product
  • Develop techniques for moving quickly through low priority tasks like emails
  • Hold shorter and more productive meetings with clear agendas and outcomes
  • Manage your own team by learning how to delegate and set metrics for success
  • Manage your boss by communicating regularly and adopting complementary styles
  • Read with more speed and comprehension by focusing on what is most important
  • Write more effectively by using outlines, the active voice and strong connectors

To see how Bob Pozen teaches people to maximize their personal productivity, please view this short video on a presentation he made recently to an audience of 150 high net worth customers.

Cambridge, MA

Understanding and Solving Complex Business Problems

July 12-13, 2018

This program will introduce participants to "systems thinking"? as a response to the rapid changes in technology, population, and economic activity that are transforming the world, and as a way to deal with the ever-increasing complexity of today's business. Systems thinking was devised to improve people's ability to manage organizations comprehensively in a volatile global environment. It offers managers a framework for understanding complex situations and the dynamics those situations produce. Senior managers can use the system dynamics method to design policies that lead their organizations to high performance. The program is intended to give participants the tools and confidence to manage organizations with full understanding and solid strategy.


Participants will experience the Beer Game, a table game, developed by Jay Forrester. Played with pen, paper, printed plastic tablecloths, and poker chips, it simulates the supply chain of the beer industry. In so doing, it illuminates aspects of system dynamics, a signature mode of MIT thought: it illustrates the nonlinear complexities of supply chains and the way individuals are circumscribed by the systems in which they act.

The program will offer a new way of thinking about and resolving complex, persistent problems that emerge from change. Applying organization theory along with intuitive principles of feedback control, participants will learn to:

  • Assess the likely impact of different policies and decisions that relate to their organization's growth, stability, and performance
  • Recognize business system archetypes that can trigger persistent, long-term problems
  • Use state-of-the-art management tools to identify relationships
  • Intervene effectively to make fundamental changes

Computational Design for Manufacturing

July 16-19, 2018

Over the next few decades, we are going to transition to a new economy where highly complex, customizable products are manufactured on demand by flexible robotic systems. This change is already underway in a number of fields. 3D printers are revolutionizing production of metal parts in aerospace, automotive, and medical industries. Manufacturing electronics on flexible substrates opens the door to a whole new range of products for consumer electronics and medical diagnostics. Overall, these new machines enable batch-one manufacturing of products that have unprecedented complexity. This course gives an introduction to the new field of computational design that is essential for the next revolution in manufacturing. Participants will be given an overview of the advanced manufacturing hardware, methods for creating digital materials, and computational design of objects at voxel-level. The course will cover generative design workflows that automatically translate functional specifications of objects to manufacturable designs. The course will also introduce participants to AI methods for computational design that utilize expert knowledge and large data repositories. Finally, the course will showcase new workflows for design across multiple domains (e.g., shape, materials, control, and software) that simplify the process and fully utilize the design space.

Engineering Leadership for Emerging Leaders

July 16-20, 2018

Offered by the premier Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, this five-day course is designed to equip you with the skills and perspectives needed to lead yourself and others in today’s engineering and technology environments. You will improve your leadership skills by learning from the latest breakthroughs in the practice of leadership within a program that draws on a variety of teaching methods, especially hands-on learning. Like the practice of leadership itself, this program will be high-contact, high-energy, and consequential.

The transition to becoming an engineering leader is one of the most promising, yet challenging experiences that engineering professionals can face. The promise comes from becoming a new kind of professional; one who can mobilize sometimes-conflicting individuals around a shared vision, solve problems through “real” teamwork, and motivate people to deliver their best results. The challenge comes from learning to work in an entirely new way; from relying solely on oneself to deliver individual results to leading others to deliver collective results. Herein lies the nature of the delicate relationship between leadership and followership.
During our five-day program, you will:

  • Enhance your understanding of the nature of leadership and followership
  • Build a foundation of team-building skills
  • Develop and deliver an inspiring and shared vision
  • Discover new ways to lead and motivate others in technical environments
  • Gain support for your ideas in environments characterized by conflicting stakeholder needs
  • Learn to manage conflicts through negotiations and constructive dialogues

Innovation: Beyond the Buzzword

July 16-18, 2018

We live in an age of exponential change in which rapid innovation is disrupting and unseating incumbent products and industries, creating new technological frontiers, and challenging nearly everything we think we know about business. For instance, think Uber and the end of the medallion taxi industry. Think Airbnb in twice as many countries as Hilton in less than 5 percent of the time. Think Tesla. Think Oculus. But beyond using the "buzzword," can you really define innovation?

In this course, which is centered on the concept of Design Thinking, your answer to that question will come from actually involving yourself in the activity of innovating.

The course will include lectures from faculty and guests, discussions of case studies in innovation models and methods, and learning expeditions on and beyond the MIT campus. But it will also go beyond these traditional classroom activities to include hands-on experiences with some cutting-edge innovations as well as group work and a class hackathon to engage in genuine innovating ? and through that, to gain an understanding beyond the buzzword. Participants will emerge as more critical thinkers, knowledgeable about what innovation is (and is not), how it happens, how to discern meaningful trends in design and technology, and how to identify opportunities and propose innovative products, services, and experiences. Active class participation, a willingness to engage with others in a creative process, and a recognition that you might have a lot to learn about innovation are all prerequisites for the course.

Who Should Attend: To facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas, approaches, and critical thought, professionals from all industries are welcome. People from across the functional business spectrum will find the course valuable, including strategy leaders, directors of innovation and technology, product managers, engineers, marketers, and R&D personnel. All participants must come with a willingness and enthusiasm to engage and be ready to share their particular passions and expertise.

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