Strategies for Managing Innovation

Learn how innovative leaders can use strategic management to enhance the performance of startup companies and corporate ventures.




12 Weeks


8-10 Hours per Week

This course focuses on understanding innovation and how to incorporate it as a strategy in technology ventures.  We examine the processes of technological change and how firms can creatively recognize, screen, and evaluate tools and techniques to practice innovation. You will learn how innovation operates in emerging ventures and how it plays a part in a company's overall competitive strategy.  This is a practical course that translates a series of frameworks to understand and manage the innovation process to develop and grow an entrepreneurial venture.

What You'll Learn

  • Understand the innovation process, and how an innovation is adopted in the marketplace.
  • Leverage employees' capabilities and the firm’s innovative culture to support innovative thinking and action.
  • Evaluate the feasibility and marketplace acceptance of an innovative idea.
  • Initiate and implement an innovative product or service strategy.
  • Recognize and navigate the barriers and challenges to innovation within a firm.
  • Design and implement approaches that leverage technology as part of an innovation strategy.

Who Will Benefit

  • Aspiring product managers working to develop their skills for entry into a product management role.
  • Active product managers seeking to enhance their capabilities to be world-class product managers.
  • Product designers, developers, and collaborators interested in improving their understanding product management.
  • Educators, consultants, and organizational leads desiring to improve their capacity to teach, advise, or empower their constituencies in the product management area.

Course Topics

Module 1: Defining Innovation as Creative Marketplace Destruction

This module includes a welcome to the course, an orientation to our teaching approach and faculty, and an introduction to the fundamentals of strategies for managing innovation.

Module 2: How to Recognize Sources of Innovation Opportunity

How can environmental scanning help find innovative opportunities? How do you define an innovation opportunity? How do innovation opportunities show up within and beyond a business? How does the marketplace generate innovation opportunities? How can you find potential innovations in the value chain?

Module 3: Framing Innovation in its Adoption Cycle

How is innovation value classified within a firm? What's the path of a product's life cycle? How does an 'S' curve explain technology performance? Why should innovators understand innovation diffusion & adoption?

Module 4: Recognizing Ways Innovation Competencies Help Entrepreneurs

What are some essential practices for a successful innovation? What competencies help you think like an innovator? How does design thinking help build an innovator's skills? How can you become your own trend spotter? What are key "associating" skills of innovators?

Module 5: Mapping Innovation Process Steps & New Product Development

How can innovation be framed as a process? Is there a logical sequence of steps in the innovation process? How is a new product developed? How is the innovation process portrayed at the industrial level?

Module 6: Identifying Innovation Roles & Role Players

Who are innovation's creative role players? Who are innovation's implementation role players? How do you become a product champion? How do you staff an innovation project? How do manager, entrepreneur, and innovator roles differ?

Module 7: Leveraging Your Creativity when developing an innovative Idea

Is there a model for understanding creativity in innovators? How does corporate culture influence innovation and creativity? How can you recognize blocks to creativity in a business? How does creativity reinforce innovator competence?

Module 8: Growing Your Innovation Core Competencies

How can a firm’s core competencies leverage innovation? How can knowledge management enable innovation? Do different organizational forms matter for innovation initiatives? What organizational forms do innovation venture units take? How does technology brokering help foster innovation?

Module 9: Evaluating the Feasibility of an Innovation Opportunity

What factors influence the feasibility of an innovation? How does technology uncertainty influence an innovation in the marketplace? How can an innovation's potential risks be identified? How do you evaluate a winning innovation idea when you see one?

Module 10: Composing a Menu of Innovation Strategies

How do disruptive innovations change the marketplace? How are innovations revealed in a blue ocean strategy? How can open innovation become an entrepreneurial strategy? How can lead users contribute to an innovation strategy? How does technology influence an innovation strategy? How does an innovation get across the first adoption chasm? Which innovation strategy: technology-push or market-pull?

Module 11: Building Innovation Portfolios

What are the essential parts of an innovation portfolio? How does technology transfer fit in an innovation portfolio? Why would you need an innovation sponsor? How do innovation managers survive an innovation project?

Module 12: Applying Innovation Management Best Practices

How can benchmarking become an innovation practice? How can an audit reveal innovation competence and weakness? How could an innovation tournament help launch an innovation initiative? How many ways can companies innovate?

Learning Experience

Asynchronous Lectures

Coaching and Mentoring

Live Office Hours

Peer Interactions and Networking

Project-Based Learning

Real-World Assignments

Learner Testimonials

The instruction and startup coaching that I received from Dr. Green were invaluable to the launch and growth of Squarespace. The skills taught in this course are a fantastic introduction to many of the fundamentals one needs when starting a business.

Anthony Casalena

Founder and CEO, Squarespace


Sharon Flank
Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute
University of Maryland

Dr. Flank is an inventor and entrepreneur with experience in innovation leadership that encompasses artificial intelligence, anti-counterfeiting, drug delivery, sensor technology, and 3D printing.  As a co-inventor for a defense contractor’s first intellectual property (SRA, now General Dynamics), she created and then managed the patent process and helped create the spinout company (eMotion, funded by Chicago Tribune, Kodak, and GE; now part of OpenText and of Getty Images), which she later joined, eventually as CTO.

For her own venture-backed company, InfraTrac, she secured angel and venture investment, licensed university intellectual property, established a market niche in in-dose pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting, and then pivoted to the more successful 3D printing security market after FDA mandated bar codes on packaging and disrupted the pharma market. InfraTrac has successfully delivered proof-of-concept 3D-printed security taggants as part of a military aerospace program. Dr. Flank continues to innovate, with 3D nanoprinting for precision controlled delivery, jointly developed with University of Maryland faculty.

Dr. Flank holds an A.B. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Take a Peek at Strategies for Managing Innovation