Leading Innovation: Transform Yourself, Your Team and Your Organization

  • In the flood of new business ventures and increasingly discerning consumers, every corporation must jockey for greater relevance and game-changing ideas to win a spot as an industry leader. But only professionals who go below the surface — who challenge their basic assumptions about creativity, progress and true leadership skills — can discover their real capacities for greatness and inspire others to do the same.

  • At a Glance

    Generate innovations that outpace the competition. In Leading Innovation: Transform Yourself, Your Team and Your Organization, you'll cultivate the habits and mindsets of innovators throughout history to open the floodgates of creativity among your teams and generate ideas you can take to market with confidence.

    The Program

    Practice thinking more creatively and develop a culture of innovation. You'll study leaders like Howard Schultz at Starbucks, Bob Johnson at Honeywell Aerospace and Thomas Edison to identify the behaviors and ideologies that propelled their successes. You'll identify actionable methods to overcome the challenges inherent in innovation, including organizational inertia, managerial resistance to risk and failed communication between departmental silos. Under the guidance of Jim Clawson, one of Darden's distinguished leadership and organizational behavior experts, and Michael Gelb, an internationally renowned speaker, best-selling author and executive consultant, you'll identify your vision, mission statement and values as an innovator and build a strategic plan to reform your organization's approach to change.

    Where You'll Excel

    • Discover the step-by-step process that generated Thomas Edison's ideas for the electric light bulb, phonograph and motion picture camera  and brought them to market.
    • Increase awareness of your own strengths and values when you receive personalized feedback on your leadership style.
    • Learn how to talk about innovation in terms stakeholders and shareholders can understand.
    • Practice integrating the innovation process into daily business routines.
    • Identify the best techniques for breaking you and your direct reports out of habitual patterns that stunt growth .

    Schedule & Topics

    • Challenges to Innovation
    • Collaborating for Innovation
    • Creating Super Value
    • Developing a Solution-Centered Mindset
    • Full-Spectrum Engagement
    • Innovation and World-Class Performance
    • Innovative Action Planning


    You'll walk away from Leading Innovation with:

    • A plan to overhaul your organization's innovation process — in just 90 days
    • Expert feedback on your own innovative thinking skills and ways to strengthen your creative capacity
    • Techniques to accelerate learning and promote cross-disciplinary generation of new ideas
    • Preemptive solutions to potential barriers to innovation, including low-resource procedures to test new ideas before taking them to market
    • The ability to anticipate market need, expand your product and service lines, and position your company as an industry leader


    This program is designed for executives, managers and directors from all industries and organizations, particularly those who want to increase opportunities for growth, overcome corporate inertia and realize the latent growth potentials that already exist in their businesses.




    James G. Clawson

    Johnson & Higgins Professor of Business Administration
    A teacher of leadership and organizational behavior for more than three decades, Clawson is frequently cited by former students for delivering some of the most influential courses of their Darden careers - and one Darden alumnus named a classroom in his honor. Clawson formerly worked as a trainer for Mobil Oil Company in Japan and as an international banking officer for Wells Fargo Bank. He remains an active consultant for public and private organizations from a broad range of industries around the world. His numerous publications include the books Level Three Leadership,Balancing Your Life: Executive Lessons for Work, Family and Self and Powered by Feel: How Individuals, Teams and Companies Excel(co-authored with Doug Newburg). Clawson holds a D.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an MBA from Brigham Young University and a B.A. from Stanford University.

    Michael J. Gelb

    Internationally Renowned Author, Speaker and Consultant
    A professional speaker since 1978, Gelb is the world's leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational development. He is a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, innovative leadership and accelerated learning. Besides Innovate Like Edison(used in this course), he is author of 11 other books, including the bestselling How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day. A corporate coach and consultant for a diverse array of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, his clients have included British Petroleum, DuPont, Merck, Microsoft, IBM, Nike and The Young Presidents Organization. Through his unique and creative approach, he has helped countless top executives, including many CEOs, solve some of their most important business challenges. Gelb is a fourth degree black belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido, as well as a former professional juggler who once performed with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.


    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

    $6,500 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.