Leading Innovation


Stanford School of Engineering


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 d.school; and Diego Rodriguez, partner at IDEO, author of the renowned Metacool blog, and cofounder of the Stanford d.school.

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.




    The All-Access Plan – a full year to view and complete course materials, video lectures, assignments and exams, at your own pace. Revisit course materials or jump ahead – all content remains at your fingertips year-round. You also get 365 days of email access to your Stanford teaching assistant.


    •$75 one-time document fee.?

    Individual Courses - 60 days to view and complete course materials, video lectures, assignments and exams, at your own pace.  You also get 60 days of email access to your Stanford teaching assistant.

    •$995 per course

    •$75 one-time document fee.?

    Continuing Education Units

    By completing this course, you’ll earn 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU). CEUs cannot be applied toward any Stanford degree. CEU transferability is subject to the receiving institution’s policies.

    Record of Completion

    When you complete each course, you’ll receive an email with a link to download your Record of Completion. This email will be sent to the address you provide in your mystanfordconnection within 3 business days of course completion.



    Please contact us at 650.741.1630 or

    Course Preview

    Watch a brief overview of the Leading Innovation course

    050 Open for Enrollment Online

    Enroll Now

    Instructors: Robert Sutton
    Delivery Option:
    Online Course $995.00 ?


    Course Access
    60 day access to the online course starts upon payment. 

    Course Materials
    Course materials are available for download from the online videos page. All materials are available for printing and review upon enrollment.

    Final Exam
    Online participants are asked to complete a final exam at the end of each course to maintain the integrity of the program. A score of 85% must be achieved to successfully pass the exam. A digital record of completion will be emailed to participants when they pass the exam.

    Course Evaluation
    It is required that participants complete the course evaluation once they have passed the final exam.

    This course may not currently be available to learners in some states and territories.