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Leading Innovation

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Do you have what it takes to inspire people to practice—rather than just talk about—innovation? Professor Bob Sutton digs into the differences between leading innovation and managing routine work, reviews the hallmarks of skilled leaders with a special focus on staying in tune with the people you lead. The course features interviews with three star innovators: Mauria Finley, experienced corporate executive at large firms including Netscape and eBay and founder of Citrus Lane; Perry Klebhan, former CEO, inventor of the modern snowshoe, and director of executive education at the Stanford; and Diego Rodriguez, partner at IDEO, author of the renowned Metacool blog, and cofounder of the Stanford

Learn How To:

  • Embrace "failure" and learn from it"
  • Learn the differences between routine and innovative work, the importance of having a place to fail, and why killing good ideas is sometimes necessary.
  • Manage creativity and innovation
  • Gain an understanding of creative processes, and understand why creative work must be managed differently.
  • Build and maintain a talented, motivated team
  • Learn about building and leading a creative team. Consider how self-fulfilling prophecies, money as a motivator, intrinsic rewards, stand-up meetings, and fostering constructive conflict can improve or hinder team performance.
  • Develop the skills of an in-tune leader
  • Reconsider traditional notions of leadership, and discover the leader's role in being assertive, celebrating small wins, and supporting team members.
  • Close the knowing-doing gap
  • Explore the traps that often prohibit implementation


Robert Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University


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