Drive Business Growth and Innovation: Mindsets, Behaviors and Tools

  • From the outside, innovation sometimes looks like a costly playground frequented by geniuses. In reality, the success that fuels growth is a series of learned behaviors and systems that can be managed and fine-tuned, such as operations, finance or any other pillar of business.

  • At a Glance

    Grow your organization organically through innovation. In Drive Business Growth and Innovation: Mindsets, Behaviors and Tools, you'll realize you don't need luck or genius to maintain organic expansion - just a commitment to the mindsets, processes and systems that rule "the physics of business growth."

    The Program

    Co-authors, consultants and Professors Jeanne Liedtka and Ed Hess will show you the laws that govern business growth, and you'll learn to apply them with management strategies that encourage innovation, operational excellence and consistent high performance. Using the faculty team's book The Physics of Business Growth: Mindsets, Systems and Processes as a lens, you'll study the behaviors of individuals and businesses that set the standard for consistent long-term corporate growth, including Starbucks, United Parcel Services, Sysco, IBM, Google and Corning.

    The program takes an applied "how-to" approach to growth. Diagnostics and tools will be used in workshops.

    Where You'll Excel

    Here are just a handful of examples of how organizations use design thinking to solve their biggest challenges.

    Redesign internal processes:

    Discover the specific steps you can take to nurture a corporate environment of innovation and propel organic growth

    Think strategically about growth

    Define what types of growth ideas are in line with strategic priorities

    Test growth ideas quickly and cheaply

    Design and manage a growth portfolio

    Adopt a growth mindset

    Schedule & Topics

    The Physics of Business Growth Model

    Growth Mindsets

    Creating a Growth System

    Defining Strategic Boundaries

    Value Chain Opportunities

    Learning Launches

    IBM's EBO Model

    Assessing Your S-Curves

    Designing and Managing a Growth Portfolio


    After you finish Drive Business Growth and Innovation, you'll walk away knowing:

    • How to strategically think about growth
    • How to analyze your current growth initiatives
    • How to create a strategic growth portfolio
    • How to do growth experiments
    • How to create an internal Growth System that drives growth behaviors
    • How growth leaders think and behave
    • The different roles of operational excellence, innovation and acquisitions


    This program is designed for business managers and leaders tasked with propelling growth in their organization.

    This course is designed for businesses seeking more growth and approaches that work in a fast-paced changing business environment.




    Edward D. Hess

    Professor of Business Administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence
    Prior to joining Darden, Hess spent more than 30 years in the business world as a lawyer, investment banker, strategy consultant and entrepreneur. He has studied numerous high-performance organizations (and their leaders), including UPS, Starbucks, Ritz-Carlton, Whole Foods, Home Depot, Best Buy and the U.S. Marine Corps. His 11 books include the award-winning Smart Growth(Columbia Business School Publishing, 2010), and he is frequently cited and consulted for his extensive expertise in business growth and strategy.

    Jeanne M. Liedtka

    United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration
    The former chief learning officer of the Fortune 50 Corporation United Technologies, Liedtka is well-known for her expertise in design thinking, innovation and leading growth. Her passion is exploring how organizations can engage employees at all levels in thinking creatively about their futures. She has won numerous teaching accolades and published numerous articles and four books, including Designing for Growth(Columbia Business School Publishing, 2011) and The Catalyst: How You Can Become an Extraordinary Growth Leader(Random House, 2009).

    Location & Accommodations

    Darden School of Business
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    As a participant, you'll stay in a private room at the Inn at Darden, our highly rated hotel adjacent to the classroom buildings and dining center. Accommodations are included in your tuition.

    Tuition & Certificates

    $6,950 covers materials, meals and accommodations at the Inn at Darden.

    By taking this course, you will earn one week of credit toward a Certificate of Specialization.