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Innovation for Growth: Strategies for Creating Value

Program Overview

Superior organic growth depends on the strategic management of innovation. Business leaders who excel at finding the best opportunities and seizing them are valued in today’s global economy. Innovation for Growth: Strategies for Creating Value provides the latest thinking, tested tools, and actionable blueprints for thriving in a rapidly changing economy. You will leave with a roadmap on how to build innovation capabilities, mobilize to grow faster, and secure resources for your organization.

Read more about the Experience & Impact »

Innovation Strategies Program Highlights & Benefits

  • Discover innovation opportunities across the full spectrum of growth pathways
  • Apply design thinking to connect deep customer insights to technology possibilities
  • Allocate resources to the portfolio of innovation initiatives across three horizons of growth
  • Manage the risks of innovation using fast prototyping, scenario analysis, and other tools
  • Unleash the creative energy of teams
  • Apply real options thinking to contain of risks of innovation
  • Build the organizational capabilities needed to enable your growth strategy

Contact Us

Schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your professional goals:


November 13 - 16, 2017$8,600

Philadelphia, PA

Download the program schedule, including session details.

Tuition for Philadelphia programs includes lodging and meals. Prices are subject to change.

Featured Video

“We will share with you how to analyze a portfolio of innovation opportunities, and allocate resources, and then build a solid business case.”

Professor George Day on Innovation for Growth: Strategies for Creating Value

Still considering your options? View programs within Strategy & Innovation or use our Program Finder.

Experience & Impact

Emphasizing the importance of innovation in driving business growth, this program provides a full-spectrum, strategic view of innovation. Participants will learn to identify new and different growth opportunities using disciplined, rigorous methods and acquire fresh approaches and new business acumen skills in key areas of marketing, technology, and sales.

Throughout the program, faculty members share the latest innovation strategy knowledge, tools, and frameworks. They draw on examples of successful firms that have created an environment that fosters a more collaborative, creative, and risk-taking culture — where even failure is viewed as an opportunity to learn. Tapping into the experiences of organic growth leaders such as Starbucks, Genentech, Alibaba, LEGO, and Salesforce.com, you will better understand how they generate superior customer value and shareholder value through their innovation prowess.

Key takeaways from Innovation for Growth include how to profit from the uncertainty of innovation by spotting opportunities sooner, investing in real options, opening up innovation processes to partners, and adopting start-up methods such as rapid prototyping and crowd sourcing. Participants will also create a growth-affirming narrative to motivate the organization and emphasize the centrality of innovation.

Session topics include:

  • Innovate to Grow: Applying Strategic Discipline
  • Process View of Innovation
  • Building the Business Case for Innovation
  • Business Model Innovations
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Strategic Management of Emerging Technologies

Through highly interactive lectures, exercises, and case studies, both in the classroom and in smaller work groups, this deep dive into the process of innovation will leave you with a new level of understanding that consistent, powerful growth depends on constantly challenging current thinking about customers, technology, and your business.

Overall, you will learn how to:

  • Jumpstart your own innovation process inside your company
  • Develop a growth strategy that guides all innovation activities
  • Foster a culture of continuous innovation, where people throughout the organization can collaborate and pursue new ways to create business value
  • Manage for innovation instead of managing for operational excellence
  • Develop, acquire, and retain innovation talent

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Innovation for Growth participants by industry

Participants by Job Function

Innovation for Growth participants by job function

Participants by Region

Innovation for Growth participants by region 

Who Should Attend

Innovation for Growth is designed for business leaders or leaders who are responsible for driving top-line growth and promoting market innovation — including strategy leaders, managers of new businesses, chief innovation officers, chief technology officers, and product development leaders.

Participants in this program are a diverse group of strategy leaders from varied industries, backgrounds, and geographies who share their biggest challenges with the class. Faculty tailor the program content to address these issues, so participants enjoy a learning experience that truly resonates with them and meets their learning needs.

Participants leave the program with an expanded peer network, plus specific tools and frameworks they can use to make a meaningful impact on the way they approach innovation within their companies or organizations.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.

Plan Your Stay


George Day, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Geoffrey T. Boisi Professor Emeritus, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Competitive strategies in global markets, strategic planning processes

Rahul Kapoor, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Innovation, technology management and strategy, industry evolution, firm boundaries, business ecosystems

Rom Y. Schrift, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Assistant Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Preference formation and choice, consumer’s decisional conflict and effort in choice, empathy and social influence

Christian Terwiesch, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Andrew M. Heller Professor; Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics; Co-Director, William and Phyllis Mack Institute for Innovation Management; Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Analyzing operational performance, innovation management, R&D management

James D. Thompson, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Co-founder and Director, Wharton Social Enterprise Program, The Wharton School; Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests: Social entrepreneurship, building future markets, investment under conditions of high uncertainty

Karl Ulrich, ScD   See Faculty Bio

CIBC Endowed Professor; Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions; Professor of Management; Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Environmental issues, product design and development, innovation


I am responsible for Latin America and Canada for Zoetis, the world’s largest animal health company that produces products and solutions for prevention and disease treatment. Leading an innovation-based health sciences company, I’ve asked myself, ‘How do I identify innovation and help it drive our growth?’

The Innovation for Growth class was phenomenal — it not only triggered my thought processes, but it also let me walk away with an excellent tool kit that includes Innovation Tournaments. Most people think innovation only comes from a certain area. I found that more innovation can be driven from not only from a specific area but from all parts of the organization. When everyone is involved in the process, the outcome is much richer.

Any organization thinking about creating a competitive advantage or driving their future growth would benefit from Wharton’s programs.”

The innovation program was exceptional. It has allowed me to put structure and process around innovation. I have used the scenario planning several times and received great feedback from my team. It was simple, quick, and extremely effective.”

Jackie Larson

VP of Operations, accounts receivables management firm

The innovation program was one of the best executive education seminars I have attended. It included big picture conceptual discussion to challenge executives to think beyond their existing innovation process, and also specific tools to evaluate your portfolio. I have used several of the tools to highlight strategic issues with our senior management team. In addition to good program content, the presenters were excellent, and responsive to the program attendees.”

David VerNooy

Vice President, RDE, consumer products firm

The innovation course provided me with several key insights that have been useful in filling out our innovation pipeline. We have been able to invigorate mature products with fresh, new looks at markets where they might be utilized. As a result we have an entire new business area. The tools brought back from the Innovation program were critical to identification of these peripheral opportunities. We were missing some obvious opportunities!!

I can't say enough about the post course materials and follow up; it is truly an impressive program all around. I look forward to taking more Executive Education courses at Wharton in the future.”

Alan Pape

Business Development Manager, Sartomer Company

The Innovation program helped me and my company gain a better understanding of how to target innovation resources and improve processes to achieve the most impact (ROI). It instills a grounded view of innovation that goes beyond products and technology into organizational issues plus the design of innovation across our business.

All facets of the program were exemplary, starting with a great introduction by George Day and Roch Parayre. Content by guest speakers such as Larry Huston created a unique perspective on how to make innovation really feasible. Finally, the back-end Innovation Portal has given students and teachers the added value of extending conversations and exploration of Innovation beyond the week and the classroom. I recommend that anyone interested in innovation take this outstanding program.”

Stephen Lines

Program Director, AstraZeneca

The innovation program provided a comprehensive deep dive into the what, where, when, and how to do innovation in a tidy, compact package. The tools, speakers, and facilitators offered fresh perspectives into this growth driver for business. Perhaps the greatest impact involved consideration of The Who. Anyone can innovate in an organization, but depending on 'who' the innovator is determines the process necessary to go from an idea to an application. That exploration gave me as a learner the direction I needed to implement new models in the day to day work.”

Fortune 500 Media Executive

Having done my PhD in the US and currently living in Europe (Portugal) and working for an International Management Consultancy Company, this was just a great programme. In three days I was able to establish a network of contacts extremely useful for my daily activities in the innovation field. I also acquired a deeper understanding of the innovation concept. The course also has some very interesting practical examples. Is definitely worth taking it!!”

Sara Medina

Member of the Board, SPI

Excellent program. The innovation program provided me with the necessary concepts and tools that I could take back to our organization and begin using immediately. There was a great balance between practice and theory and a solid mix of credible professors and industry experts.”

Todd Leight

Director of Marketing and Sales, TEI Biosciences

Having had access to world leading innovations research and researchers gave me insights which I did not think was possible in such short period of time. This program broadened my perspectives on innovation and provided me the strategic tools and language which have served as key contributions to the innovation strategy work at Sony Ericsson.”

Susanna Bill

Innovation Manager, Sony Ericsson

Innovation itself is a quickly evolving area, and innovation courses should continue to evolve and challenge the old techniques. The fact that uncertainty or 'black swan' logic is incorporated into the mix here is a promising sign that this course, and more importantly this school, is itself innovative. NICE JOB!!”

Jay Lawson

VP/GM Stryker Craniomaxillofacial, Stryker

James Cowan is president of Neutrik USA, a subsidiary of Neutrik AG, the world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of audio, coaxial, power, and circular connectors. Although the parent company maintained that its top priority was to anticipate and fulfill future market needs, Cowan learned by coming to Wharton that his company's approach was not working. “We weren't listening to the needs of the market. Since we had an engineering-driven environment we assumed that we knew what the market needed, and then we would force those ideas onto the customers. I realized when I attended this program that if we continued to follow our current model, we wouldn't maintain growth.”

When Cowan returned to his company, he presented many of the ideas he learned during the program to the board of directors, who enthusiastically embraced them. "As a direct result of attending Wharton's outstanding course and sharing its valuable lessons, we created a director of marketing position at our headquarters in Europe. Our new marketing director is providing greater focus on growing the company based on its core strengths. We're now reaching those in our market who didn't know about our products or our company.”

Cowan strongly recommends Innovation for Growth. “Not only did it give me the insights I needed to see what had to be changed, but the program taught me strategies for creating solutions. As a result, my company is much better positioned to maintain growth.”

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