Washington University in St. Louis

MGT632: Fostering Innovation

Advanced Technical Leadership Certificate
Course summary:

Leaders are the significant influencers of innovation for every organization. Frontline leaders manage individual contributors and are the conduit for up-to-date knowledge, business challenges, and information about your customers. 

Course experience:
This course provides a practical approach, tools, and techniques to help leaders and their teams think differently about how they work and to help them generate new ideas that add value to your organization and your customers. Leaders also learn what they can say and do to foster innovation within their teams. 
Who should take this course?
Technical professionals wishing to earn Washington University's Advanced Technical Leadership Certificate. This course is designed to teach participants ways to increase their effectiveness with teams, in meetings and in individual discussion with peers, managers, vendors and customers.

Course outline:

  • Let’s Get Started: Learners participate in an engaging activity using their Course Prep depicting their customer’s experience with their product or service. Participants discuss the meaning of innovation and are introduced to four fostering innovation practices.
  • Spark Inquiry: Facilitator explains the first fostering innovation practice, Spark Inquiry, and learners use a tool that presents thought-provoking questions related to the innovation actions of this method. With a partner, learners identify an innovation opportunity. In table teams, one innovation opportunity is chosen to focus on for other activities.
  • Generate New Ideas: Working in their teams, learners identify unusual sources of input for their ideas. Then, they use a tool to generate many ideas for their innovation opportunity. Facilitator introduces tools to help leaders identify which ideas to test and move forward. Teams select a promising idea related to their innovation opportunity.
  • Test to Learn: Facilitator introduces the practice Test to Learn, and the importance of testing small parts. A well-known innovation example is used to explain the innovation actions for this practice. Teams draft a test goal and work on a primitive prototype on the part they chose to test. Facilitator explains how test outcomes can be used to enhance ideas.
  • Take Action: Facilitator introduces the Take Action practice, focusing on the innovation action of communicating impact. Participants learn about the Golden Nugget technique for communicating impact and in their teams craft one for their innovative idea.
  • Leaders Who Foster Innovation: Learners are introduced to the characteristics of leaders who foster innovation and compare them to success within the four practices. The facilitator then introduces three communication techniques leaders can use to manage ideas that are not ready to move forward. Participants watch and then discuss a video of a leader using the communication techniques as she works with the team on a new idea. Learners discuss their challenges in fostering innovation with their teams.

Learning outcomes:

  • Help their teams contribute to business objectives
  • Focus on innovation opportunities that will help their customers meet their objectives
  • Build robust, innovative ideas that consider many perspectives
  • Learn and benefit from both success and failure
  • Work together to advocate for the innovation and ensure that valuable new ideas are not lost
  • Enhance their contributions as a leader by fostering innovation with their team
Day & Time:
Thursday Oct 17, 2024
4 to 8:00 p.m.
Enrollment Deadline:
October 10, 2024
Course Fee(s):

Enrollment Deadline is October 10th, 2023 at 5 PM CST. Beyond this date, please call 314-935-4444 to register.

A full refund will be given when a registrant cancels more than five (5) business days prior to the start of the class. Cancellations received within 5 business days of the start of the class and no-shows will be billed in full. Another person may be substituted at any time at no additional charge.

A request to transfer a class to a future date can only occur if the request is more than 5 business days prior to the start of class.  Otherwise, the request will be considered a cancellation and the policy will apply.

Thank you for your interest! Currently, we don't have any additional sessions with availability. However, we're committed to offering ongoing learning opportunities and are working to add more sessions in the future. We appreciate your interest and look forward to the opportunity to support your professional growth soon.

Accrediting Associations:

Applies toward the following certificates:

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Have questions?
Contact us if you would like to speak with a program director or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
"Perfect amount of conversation and discussion, also was appreciative of timed breaks longer than 5 minutes." MGT632: Fostering Innovation