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One of a Series: MIT Holidays

MIT Closed - Labor Day

September 3, 2018

The Intersection of Leadership & Innovation

September 3 - October 29, 2018

Do Your Leaders Nurture Innovation? In The Intersection of Leadership & Innovation, MIT?s Dr. David Niņo helps participants harness the kinetic energy of leadership, empowering them to lead with self-awareness and creativity?the essential building blocks for innovative teams, cultures and organizations.

Driving Strategic Innovation: Achieving High Performance Throughout the Value Chain

September 16-21, 2018

How do the most successful innovators generate more than their fair share of smart ideas? How do they unleash the creative talent of their people? How do they move ideas through their organizations and supply chains that are not only creative but fast to market? The answers to these key questions form the core of this program for business leaders and entrepreneurs who are determined to position their companies for future growth.

Offered jointly with IMD, this program will combine marketing, product development, technology assessment, value-chain design, project execution, and talent management in an end-to-end roadmap for achieving breakthrough performance. Using a dynamic and integrative value-chain framework created at MIT, participants will gain the capability to position their organizations for future growth.

Participants will leave this program armed with the knowledge of how to influence corporate culture, alter the way their organization responds to the challenge of innovation, and strengthen relationships with partners along the value chain. This intensive learning experience will deliver long-term value, helping business leaders to:

  • Meet technology challenges, from R&D to manufacturing, project management to engineering
  • Link technology decisions with business strategy
  • Integrate product development, process developments, and value-chain strategy
  • Develop organization and supply-chain strategies to position the company for future growth
  • Leverage learning and innovation collaboration with customers, lead users, and suppliers, maximizing the value of research
  • Understand how technologies and markets evolve and how they are linked
  • Outperform the competition by generating breakthrough ideas
  • Cope with shorter product life cycles, while delivering greater customer satisfaction
  • Optimize sourcing and ?make-buy? decisions
  • Integrate supply-chain design with concurrent engineering
  • Engage talent within the organization and across the value chain

Leadership and the Lens: Reframing the Question to Unlock Insight and Impact

September 24-26, 2018

A few days spent away is precious little time to make a difference in your leadership capability, but Leadership and the Lens makes the most of that time by immersing participants into a different world of dynamic possibilities. Co-taught by MIT?s Hal Gregersen (The Innovator?s DNA) and Sam Abell (The Life of a Photograph), this workshop uses a familiar tool?the camera?to explore how unseen opportunities reveal themselves?and how the most effective leaders spot them, before it?s too late.


Gregersen and Abell discovered for themselves the deep resonance of their work when they met at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. Expecting Abell?s mentorship to make him a better photographer, Gregersen was surprised to find it also enriched his own research on leadership. His interviews with 200+ senior executives of the world?s most innovative companies?people like Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre?had led him to see that groundbreaking solutions start with catalytic questions. Now he saw that his core advice on how to reimagine organizational strategies and cultures mapped directly onto what Abell has taught for decades about creating photographs worthy of National Geographic.


To frame better questions, most leaders need to check habits and beliefs they have gained over life-long careers?for example, that they must always be confidently right and quick to call others to action. Seeing new possibilities for an organization often demands the opposite: an eagerness to find what one is dead wrong about, a willingness to step back and quietly listen, and a patience to take in the dynamics of a situation, especially an uncomfortable one. By putting themselves in contexts that compel them to adopt these new attitudes, leaders raise their odds of surfacing questions that can unlock entirely new avenues of value creation. In the same way, the best photographers commit themselves to daily habits that develop deep seeing skills. They patiently ?compose and wait? out in the field, where vulnerability often leads to inevitable, powerful images. They learn to study their settings as deeply as their subjects, and as they do, images (and life itself) light up.


Gregersen and Abell lead this workshop with all the enthusiasm that comes from their discovery of a novel, hybrid method of learning. Past participants have called it a transformative experience. To approach the world with eyes wide open and a camera in hand is to be inquisitive. It provokes questions like: What surprises will I encounter? How will I capture them? What message am I trying to share?and what will the images I produce say about me and my values as a leader? Spend these few days in Cambridge, and discover what new capabilities might develop in you.


This program is offered in association with Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, and is limited to 15 participants. Registered participants will be asked to submit 10-15 photographs they have taken, as valuable input to the instruction.


Please note: The program was formerly known as "Innovation and Images: Exploring the Intersections of Leadership and Photography."

Expect to leave this program with new insights regarding:

  • How leaders of the world?s most innovative organizations approach their work differently.
  • Why some questions prove especially ?catalytic?? capable of breaking down barriers and accelerating progress in new directions.
  • How exploring the intersection of two disciplines that combine art and science?leadership and photography?enhances creativity in both.
  • How simple changes in behavior and perspective increase your chances of encountering assumption-challenging input and exploring its implications.
  • Why the quest to uncover ?what you don?t know you don?t know? is central to both game-changing innovation and great image-making.
  • What prevailing conditions, deliberately sought or constructed by the leader, cause fresh questions to arise continually and productively?

Cambridge, MA

Fundamentals of Finance for the Technical Executive

September 25-26, 2018

This program is designed to provide senior technical managers with the financial concepts, strategies, and tools needed to deal more effectively with corporate financial management. Course curriculum focuses on basic financial principles for project evaluation, funding, and resource allocation, helping leaders to work more effectively with financial decision makers and apply the principles of finance to short-term and long-range goals.

Today's technical executive must be able to use finance to persuade corporate financial officers to fund projects as well as use financial tools to address senior management's concerns about risk. Focused on basic principles of accounting and financial decision making for managers, this program will help transform a technical manager?s ability to manage and advocate for both day-to-day and long-term activities. 

This interactive, hands-on program will enable participants to:


  • Understand how funding decisions are made and how they can influence those decisions by applying financial principles to project evaluation and resource allocation
  • Learn how to assess projects for their potential economic value
  • Conduct discounted cash flow (DCF) valuations

This program is designed for executives who manage project teams and departments, and technical professionals involved with R&D, product and software design, engineering, and other scientific and technical work. No advanced quantitative skills are required, but participants should bring calculators.


Past participants have included key members of technical management, such as:


  • CIOs
  • Chief technologists
  • Head scientists
  • R&D and product development directors
  • Engineering and manufacturing vice presidents
  • Corporate strategists
  • Project managers
  • Systems information managers

MIT Campus, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Revitalizing Your Digital Business Model

September 25-26, 2018

As the world continues to digitize and grow in complexity, virtually every enterprise will need to have a great digital business model, one that creates value by engaging customers and helping employees work smarter.

This program is designed to guide senior executives as they attempt to leverage opportunities and overcome challenges associated with competing in the digital marketplace. Based on extensive MIT research, it provides insights into how firms can achieve competitive advantage by providing unique digital content, an exceptional customer experience, and superior digitized platforms.

At MIT Sloan, we have created frameworks to help enterprises define and build powerful digital business models that will facilitate their ability to compete in the global digital economy and thrive in emergent ecosystems. Revitalizing Your Digital Business Model will help senior managers address the following issues:

  • What is the source of competitive advantage for your digital business model?
  • How can you manage business complexity in the global digital economy?
  • How do you create digitized platforms that enable new and evolving digital opportunities?
  • How can you simplify your customer experiences without creating burdensome organizational complexity?
  • How can you create new information offerings that generate bottom-line value for the firm?


At the conclusion of this program, executives will be better prepared to address the following issues:


  • What digital capabilities do you most need to focus on?
  • What information offerings have the most potential for data monetization, and how can they most effectively generate value?
  • How can you derive value from business complexity while keeping that complexity manageable?
  • What metrics can you use to track whether you are delivering customer satisfaction on a daily basis?
  • How will you gain competitive advantage in the digital economy?
"Business success in the digital economy will rarely be a function of technology. Companies that succeed will likely distinguish themselves by working smarter."
--Jeanne Ross, Director, MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR)

MIT Campus, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Creating High Velocity Organizations

September 27-28, 2018

Some organizations achieve such exceptional levels of performance?time to market, quality, safety, affordability, reliability, dependability and adaptability?that it puts their rivals to shame. Though few in overall number, they exist in manufacturing, high tech, heavy industry, product design and production, and services, such as health care delivery. The select few are capable of generating and sustaining such high-velocity, broad-based, relentless improvement and innovation, that they achieve unparalleled levels of excellence. Learn what drives the success of these companies.


The Learning Experience

Creating High Velocity Organizations employs several teaching techniques: presentations, case discussions, video dramatizations, and an in-class simulation emphasizing a participatory style to maximize the opportunities for "learning by doing." The program material is organized into thematic modules designed around the four key principles of building the discovery capability in an organization?smart work design, creative problem solving, continuous knowledge sharing, and developing of discovery skills among employees. Each module consists of several sessions, which demonstrate, first, the positive impact through successful application of those key principles, and then provides examples of negative results when those principles were clearly needed but not applied. Each session is punctuated by facilitated small-group exercises, in which participants can actively apply the ideas and examples offered in class to their own specific, real-life situations.


Assignment Required Before Arrival

This program will provide multiple opportunities for participants to explore their own processes. Participants should come prepared to work on an important challenge in their organization.

This program will enable participants to:


  • Create an organization where work is done by harnessing the best-known approaches available and signaling the need for new knowledge.
  • Solve problems as they arise and to develop new understanding that prevents the problems from recurring.
  • Multiply the impact of local discoveries by making them useful systemically throughout the organization.
  • Lead an organization where discovery is encouraged, supported, and promoted at all times. 

The MIT Edge

Traditional business-school curricula tend to focus on teaching decision-making skills as a way to success. However, many companies today?especially those in relatively new industries?find themselves lacking the information or the experience needed to make the decisions that could determine their future. That is where the leaders' ability not only to think, but also to behave like innovators, becomes vital to the success of the organization. Known for its commitment to innovation, with this program MIT Sloan offers a rare opportunity for participants to learn how to channel their curiosity into innovators' behavior.

Cambridge, MA

Leadership by Design: Innovation Process and Culture

September 27-28, 2018

Leadership by Design will help both individuals and teams understand and practice human-centered design. Participants in this program will learn both strategic and hands-on techniques for structured exploration through prototyping. They will also learn how to enable an action-based organizational culture in which empathy is generated, trial and error is encouraged, and failure is celebrated as a source of learning, all resulting in successful innovation. It is intended to introduce the concepts of human-centered design to individuals and teams who are not already familiar with these design-based concepts and their application.


Drawing on the resources of MIT?s Integrated Design & Management curriculum and its new Integrated Design Lab (ID Lab), this program combines the inspired, intuitive methods taught in the world?s best design schools with the systematic, analytical methods for which MIT is world-renowned. This program is led by Matthew S. Kressy, creator and Director of Integrated Design & Management (IDM).


Course content includes:


  • Discussions on expression and culture
  • Field exercises in observation, exploration, and user empathy
  • Lectures on concept generation
  • Studio exercises in persona development and storytelling
  • Lectures and case studies pertaining to design leadership
  • Hands-on sketch modeling and rendering exercises
  • Functional prototyping workshops
  • Opportunities to build, test, and iterate prototypes in teams
  • Concluding discussions on process and leadership

The tools presented in the program can be applied to any range of human-centered innovation problems and opportunities including products, services and social/societal challenges.


By applying a design-centered approach to leadership, you?ll be able to conceive of radically innovative solutions to multifaceted problems, create a vision that gets buy-in from senior management and colleagues, avoid hazards, and create solutions that people love both emotionally and intellectually.

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