Creating the Innovative Workplace

Digital Course

Creating the Innovative Workplace

Manage teams, negotiate conflict, build effective networks and strategically plan for innovation.


Darden’s world-renowned faculty members in entrepreneurship and innovation have combined their skills in this course to help you build a workplace culture that invites creativity.

Intended For

Team Leader, Senior Management



Available Dates

17 Feb - 22 Mar 2020
6 Apr - 17 May 2020






5 Weeks

Drawing on the full range of Darden's cutting-edge research and hands-on expertise, you'll explore a variety of timely, relevant factors to unleash your workplace creativity, foster innovation and act as a catalyst for new endeavors within your organization. You'll also have access to Darden-trained mentors to help you every step of the way on your design thinking journey. Expect to focus 5-8 hours per week on coursework during this five-week program.

"This course allowed me to reflect about my own company innovative procedures and behaviors. We as an innovation lab considered ourselves on top of the game, however we need to walk the talk internally and this course provided a good starting point."

Wow LAB, Innovation Associate and Project Manager

Course Overview

Creating a culture of innovation requires paying attention to several different variables. In this course, you'll hone your leadership skills by tackling several different topics. We'll consider tensions between short-term objectives and long-term innovations. You'll learn techniques for aligning key players and projects, balancing top-level objectives and mid-level knowledge and moving forward as a collective to make progress.

You'll also discover how successful leaders manage their personal networks, reviewing the network patterns of high performers and the traps of over- and under-connectedness. You'll learn how you can better manage conflict within your organization, and assess your own conflict-management style. You'll learn about conversations in the workplace and how to build and run high performance teams primed for innovation. Along the way you'll hear stories about building powerful workplace habits that help you manage change and innovation.

Accelerate your skills

  • Apply actionable strategies to your workplace problems
  • Balance short-term and long-term objectives and eliminate information asymmetry
  • Maximize the effectiveness of your professional network and your social patterns
  • Manage conflict to maximize potential
  • Create high-performing teams that are poised to innovate

Course Format

This program is conducted entirely online over the course of five weeks. Each week, participants should expect to spend approximately five to eight hours viewing instructional videos and completing field work, readings, assignments and peer evaluations. Course readings are provided within the course. No additional text required.

For the course to be completely successful, participants should maintain respectful communication with the faculty and fellow participants and comply with all applicable rules, instructions, requirements and terms of service.


You'll walk away from Creating the Innovative Workplace with:

  • An awareness of your own conflict style and an understanding of ways to manage workplace conflict more effectively
  • An analysis to guide your development of a professional network that supports your goals and strengths as a leader
  • Strategies to energize and empower personnel and streamline resource allocation
  • Tools and models for designing, facilitating, and managing high-performance teams
  • A broadened perspective that empowers you to effect positive change and accelerate your leadership skills


This course is designed for managers and leaders who believe that innovation is everyone's business and know their organizations will benefit from fresh, powerful, and lean approaches to busting through stagnant problems. An independent but complementary training to Darden's popular Design Thinking courses, Creating the Innovative Workplace benefits leaders from public and private sectors alike, including those in finance, engineering, technology and administration, as well as healthcare, education and social nonprofit causes.


By taking this course, participants earn credit toward the Specialization in Design Thinking and Innovation.


Alexander B. Horniman

Alexander B. Horniman

Killgallon Ohio Art Professor of Business Administration, Senior Fellow, Olsson Center for Applied Ethics

Edward D. Hess

Edward D. Hess

Professor of Business Administration, Batten Executive-in-Residence, Batten Faculty Fellow

Jeanne M. Liedtka

Jeanne M. Liedtka

United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration, Senior Associate Dean for Degree Programs

Darden Executive Education is provided by the University of Virginia
Darden School Foundation.