Date: June 8-10, 2015 | Tuition: TBD | Continuing Education Units (CEUs): TBD
*This course has limited enrollment. Apply early to guarantee your spot.
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Less than ten years ago, traditional players such as Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, and Motorola dominated the mobile phone industry. Three years ago, the hottest phones were by Apple. Today, Samsung is considered an innovative company, Google has acquired the mobile phone division of Motorola, and Microsoft has acquired the mobile phone division of Nokia. Three elements of modern technology are making new ideas appear at such an extraordinary pace: the sheer rate of technical progress, the abundance of tools that are placing advanced technologies within the reach of new entrants, and the extraordinary opportunities created by convergence. Not all innovation needs to progress at this rate; however, there are lessons to be learned from these events and every company should be prepared to leverage opportunities from within or to ward off threats from the outside. The objective of this class is to cover some of the salient features of innovation in the modern world and to lay out the philosophy, tools, procedures, and incentives that an organization can adopt to drive innovation.
The course will cover a range of topics in innovation, and will begin with an understanding of what makes a successful innovative product and business: people, opportunity, context, and technology. The course will examine case studies in what we call radical innovation and will identify steps that companies can take towards encouraging innovations from within, ranging from brainstorming sessions to invention awards. Participants will also examine successful incubator strategies and critical success factors and some of the IP issues around invention. Next, the course will explore the role of venture funds inside and outside companies, and discuss spinouts, spin-ins, licensing, and acquisitions. Finally, participants in the course will consider the role of communities, standards bodies, and open-source models in innovation. There will also be breakout sessions in which smaller groups will engage in innovation exercises.
Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (15%)
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (30%)
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (50%)
Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (75%)
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (25%)
Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (50%)
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (20%)
Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (20%)
Other: Knowledge of the technology landscape in general (10%)
The participants of this course will be able to:
- Understand how to identify and evaluate new innovative products and businesses.
- Review and understand different ways to create an innovation group and culture and run a targeted innovation session within a company.
- Formulate a corporate plan for invention and new product generation.
- Approach the critical challenges in technology, product, sales, marketing, and financing a new innovative venture.
- Understand the supporting legal and IP requirements and how to set up an intellectual property strategy for the company.
- Incubate, refine, and grow a portfolio of innovative new businesses/products.
Who Should Attend
The course is taught from a technology viewpoint and is targeted at technical leaders, executives in charge of product or company strategy, and product managers. Typical titles will include: CTO, Head of Strategy, CIO, Head of R&D, Product Manager, Director of Lab, Group Leader, and so on.
Session 1: Why radical innovation and how to do it
1. Ocean liners versus speed boats
2. The theory behind innovation and creative destruction
3. Why it is difficult
Session 2: Managing creative destruction
1. Why it is inevitable
2. How to harness it
3. How to "invent"
Session 3: Rapid Launch/Fast Fail
1. Why failing fast is best
2. Zombies and preventing them
Session 4: Case Study
An exercise to get the juices flowing
Session 5: Why Rapid Launch is easier then ever
1. The tools available to us
2. How to launch quickly
3. Why quick launch is essential
Session 6: Why innovation fails
1. The antibodies in companies
2. How to address them
3. Why startups succeed
Session 7: Trends in innovation
1. Big picture ideas
2. Trends that are shaping the world
3. Understanding where you fit
Session 8: Case Study
Applying the concepts
Session 9: Walk and talk around MIT (time permitting)
Session 10: IP and innovation portfolios
Course schedule and registration times
Class runs 9:00 am - 5:00 pm each day except for Wednesday when it will end at 12:30 pm.
Laptops are encouraged for this course.
senior consulting engineer, emc corporation
"Professor Sarma mixed real-world contemporary examples with personal experiences, drew out archetypes from the many examples presented, and covered the various aspects of modern-day business practices, from IP protection to crowdsource funding. He also drew out examples from the students and suggested ways to apply these methods to those situations. Finally, there were group exercises that helped us to apply innovative ways of thinking to solve contemporary problems and were structured in such a way as to allow us to evaluate our approaches against startup companies solving similar issues. I felt I learned more (and re-learned) in the 2-1/2 days we spent in class than in the last six months of thinking about ways to improve various approaches to both business and consumer problems."
director of marketing, sea ng corporation
"I enjoyed it immensely and look forward to more potential courses in the future."
senior director of software engineering, debisys inc. dba emida technologies
"One of the best investments in money and time in my life."
About the INstructor
Sanjay Sarma is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and MIT's first Director of Digital Learning. Professor Sarma was one of the founders of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, which developed many of the technical concepts and standards of modern RFID. He also chaired and helped to set up the Auto-ID Research Council consisting of six labs worldwide. Today the suite of standards developed by the Auto-ID Center, commonly referred to as the EPC, are being used by over 1,000 companies on five continents. He serves on the board of EPCglobal, the worldwide standards body he helped to create. Between 2004 and 2006, he took a leave of absence from MIT to found the software company OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems in 2008. He is a consultant to several companies and also serves as a permanent guest of the board of GS1.
Professor Sarma received his Bachelors degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, his Masters degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. In between degrees, he worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK. His Master's thesis was in the area of operations research and his Ph.D. was in the area of automation. His current research projects are in the areas of radio frequency identification, IC packaging, manufacturing, CAD/CAM, machine design, RFID applications, device networking, mobile capture, and smart devices. He has over 75 publications in computational geometry, virtual reality, manufacturing, CAD, RFID, security, and embedded computing.
He is a recipient of the MIT MacVicar Fellowship, National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Chair at MIT, the Den Hartog Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Keenan Award for innovations in undergraduate education, the New England Business and Technology Award, and the MIT Global Indus Award. He was selected for 2003's Business Week ebiz 25 and Fast Company Magazine's Fast Fifty.
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.
Links & Resources
News / Articles:
- Radical Innovation course resonates with Italian industry professionals
Sanjay Sarma urges Italian companies to capitalize on the country's innovative heritage to launch skunkworks efforts.
- Ready Shoot Aim: Break the Analysis Paralysis Cycle to Innovate by Sanjay Sarma (Innovation Review, Autumn/Winter 2013)
- Skin Cancer Imaging Technology - Prof. Sanjay Sarma, Advisor
- Sanjay Sarma appointed as MIT’s first director of digital learning
There are no updates at this time.