Period 3 | May-June 2018|

Nathan Furr, Assistant Professor of Strategy
Seats: 48
Credit: 1

Annabelle Gawer
Seats: 24
Credit: 0.5

Course Purpose

Technology change and innovation affect every domain of business, changing the face of industry at an accelerating pace. Yet few leaders accurately understand these patterns, leading to failure that undermines companies, projects, and careers. In this 7 double-session course we will explore the fundamental questions of technology and innovation in order to provide students the foundations to create and capture value in the changing technology environment.

Learning Goals

The course explores both historical and emerging patterns of technology and innovation with the goal of addressing problems you are likely to face as a leader. We will address the following problems in class:

  • How can you recognize, adapt to, and even defeat disruptive technologies?
  • How do you predict or shape when a technology will achieve technical and market take-off?
  • How do you effectively capture the value of your and others inventions?
  • How should your strategy change as a technology matures?
  • How do you win with a platform or move from product to platforms?
  • How can you leverage a systems view to overcome roadblocks and competitors?
  • How do you quickly bring new growth businesses to market?

Exploring these topics will allow us to address the many puzzles of technology innovation, such as why do customers reject great innovations, why does listening to customers sometimes lead to failure, why do inventors fail to capture the value of their innovations, and why does great execution sometimes lead to failure?

We will explore these puzzles by doing a deep dive into critical innovation ideas such as disruption, diffusion, interdependence, platforms, systems, hybrids, and new market creation. Although these theories have boring labels, and you may even believe you already understand them, we will use these theories to transform the way you think about innovation in both new and established companies. How? We will learn, then break, then remake these frameworks so that you have the sophistication to use them to lead real change during your career. To do this we will use double sessions exclusively to explore technology and innovation strategy frameworks during an initial case discussion, then break and remake these frameworks through application to current technology battles and innovation dilemmas, often through hands-on application to real technologies.

Who Should Take This Course?

Anyone who wants to be an innovator or lead innovation should take this course. Because we live in a world of growing change and disruption, innovation is more than just a buzzword. Individuals who understand the patterns and process of innovation will prosper themselves and their companies. In this course, you will explore the tools to become a life-long leader of innovation so it is hard not to say, without irony, that everyone should take this course. That’s one reason why it is hidden at the end of the strategy electives: it is a passport to innovation awesomeness.