How to Lead Innovation
4.5 Day Program

How to Lead Innovation

Unleash the creative potential of your teams to achieve big innovation

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How to Lead Innovation

About the program

The innovation opportunities with the greatest power to transform and grow organizations are also the hardest to identify and execute. Too often, teams stay within the bounds of current thinking and assumptions when what’s needed is to unleash creativity and fresh perspectives.

This program provides leaders with proven methods to achieve real innovation for complex business challenges. It develops the mindsets, behaviours, self-awareness, and leadership tools to drive successful innovation in any organization.

The unique two-module format allows for reflection and assimilation of learnings.

The program takes place in downtown Toronto at the OCAD U CO studio environment on the waterfront and SmithToronto in the financial core. These open and dynamic learning spaces play a key role in the program, fostering creativity and collaboration.

What you will learn:

  • How to develop new innovation opportunities using a robust design thinking framework and method including strategic foresight, user research, ideation, prototyping, and storytelling
  • How to define your role as a leader in driving innovation in your organization
  • How to spot the engrained business mindsets which may be limiting your ability to lead innovation, and learn to adopt mindsets that will enable innovation
  • To better understand your own strengths and development areas through the lens of five archetypical leadership roles, and learn to lead through your strengths

Who should attend:

  • Senior managers and executives leading innovation or transformation
  • Professionals in innovation roles including product design, technology, R&D, operations, organizational development, and strategy
  • Senior leaders with quantitative strengths looking to expand their skill set with innovation
  • High-potential leaders on the path to senior roles wanting to grow their competencies in leading strategic change and innovation
  • Any leader looking to expand their ability to solve complex business problems

CCDI Partnership


Smith School of Business is an Employer Partner of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.


At the end of the program, you will have mastered a methodology for identifying and taking advantage of innovation opportunities. Equally important, you will have gained a better and deeper understanding of yourself as a leader and how to best lead teams to innovation breakthroughs.

Program content

  • Understanding innovation mindsets
  • Using strategic foresight to sense drivers of change
  • Prioritizing future trends and developing implications
  • Generating and prioritizing opportunities for innovation
  • Using creative ideation methods 
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Storytelling for innovation and change
  • Developing a personal vision for innovation leadership

And more

In-Person Learning

Learn alongside fellow participants from across the country, discovering best practices that span industries and sectors.

Our in-person programs include classroom learning sessions led by award-winning Smith School of Business professors and industry experts. Practice new skills in breakout sessions, projects and simulations, and apply your learning toward real-world case studies.

Session Leaders

Session leaders include senior professors from Smith School of Business and knowledgeable experts from industry. These outstanding teachers are constantly in touch with today's business world through real-world business experience, Board memberships and their own consulting practices.

Session leaders include senior instructors from Smith School of Business and knowledgeable experts from industry. These outstanding teachers are constantly in touch with today's business world through real-world business experience, board memberships, and their own consulting practices.

Melissa brings 20+ years of experience in senior strategic roles including leadership coach, strategy and innovation advisor, head of training and development, and COO of Doblin, Deloitte’s global design and innovation practice. She teaches Leading Corporate Innovation in Queen’s Masters of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship program and delivers interactive workshops, training, keynotes and coaching to corporate, government and non-profit leaders.

Job is a professor in Interaction Design at OCAD University. He brings 25 years of experience as a strategic designer, creative director, facilitator, and educator working in industry and academia. Job is known for creating inspiring learning, workshops, and curricula that empower people with the creative confidence needed to innovate, iterate, and scale disruptive ideas all the way from white board to the market.

Available for Teams & Organizations

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