Strategic Innovation Practice Area

Corporate Innovation Programs, Innovation Training, & Implementation

Strategic Innovation with Babson Executive Education

Accelerate Your Future

As organizations mature, they become expert at efficiently and effectively delivering core products to current customers, and incrementally innovating within those product family offerings to protect and grow their market share and earnings.  Eventually, the growth trajectory flattens. Companies that have aged several generations beyond their founding team, and have grown in complexity and size, face the quintessential dilemma of how to maintain the core business and, at the same time, protect their future health by creating the businesses of the future. 

The latter requires envisioning major opportunity domains that are just beginning to emerge, where solutions seem complex and somewhat vague. Strategic Innovation is the organizational competency that operates to bring those visions to reality. We define it as the discipline that transforms creative discoveries and ideas into new platforms of business that bring significant value to the market, and therefore to the organization. But the context of Strategic Innovation, highly ambiguous and uncertain contexts, differs dramatically from that of the mainstream core business. The governance, culture, skills, resourcing, processes and metrics of the core business will stamp out these initiatives every time.  Companies must, therefore, purposefully develop Strategic Innovation as an organizational capability.

Corporate Innovation Programs that Deliver Results

Corporate Innovation Programs that Deliver Results

Incremental new product development is not enough to stay ahead of industry disruption and maintain market share. Instead, renewal and growth hinges on changing the status quo and looking beyond the current portfolio. See how Babson can help.

Harness the Power of Strategic Innovation

A well-developed organizational capability for Strategic Innovation enables companies to navigate change, disrupt the status quo, and create new platforms of business that keep mature companies healthy for today and tomorrow. 

Babson's expertise in strategic Innovation and entrepreneurial leadership, powered by more than two decades of academic research, positions us to help companies apply the most recent and well-developed findings on innovation management to their organization's current situation. Through customized workshops and advising with executive leadership groups, innovation management leaders and their teams, and individuals, we help organizations further their strategic innovation expertise, no matter where they are on the journey.

How to Work with Us—Strategic Innovation Practice Area

Across both core capabilities, we help you make the case for strategic innovation so that leadership teams listen and act.

Harvard Business Review

Real Innovation Requires More Than an R&D Budget

Corporate leaders need to recognize that developing business applications, revenue models, and markets for new products often requires as much time and resources and deserves as much emphasis, as inventing the technologies themselves.

MIT Management Sloan School

Masterclass: Innovation as a Career Path

Read the recent Sloan Management Review article published by Gina O’Connor and two MIT colleagues that highlights the importance of exploring and embracing radical innovation in organizations and outlines the difficulty of predicting the radicalness of an innovation and the potential missed opportunities if organizations abandon projects before their radicalness becomes apparent.  

Babson’s Strategic Innovation Experts

Gina O’Connor, Advanced Education – Inclusive Innovation and Commercialization

Gina Colarelli O’Connor

Professor of Innovation Management
Practice Area Leader, Strategic Innovation

Renowned researcher, trainer, and consultant, Gina O’Connor is an expert in the fields of breakthrough innovation in large mature companies, technological innovation, and corporate entrepreneurship. As the Practice Area Leader, she collaborates with her colleagues to co-create offerings and leads implementation that support organizations in building Strategic Innovation Capabilities.

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Ron Pierantozzi

Adjunct Lecturer

An innovative leader with 30+ years experience in the development of new technologies and businesses. Comfortable in either business or technology environments, excelling at the interface. Excellent networking skills, broad technology knowledge, accomplished technology manager, inventor, and business development professional. Educator with over 10 years experience in both MBA and Custom Executive Education classes.

Bradley George

Bradley George

Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship

Bradley George has expertise in corporate entrepreneurship, clean tech, environmental entrepreneurship, new venture creation, and sustainable entrepreneurship. He advises startups, ranging from small family businesses and social ventures to VC-backed firms around the world. He spent 15 years in the diesel engine industry, collaborating in the creation and launch of new business units and product lines.

Erik Noyes, Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship Division

Erik Noyes

Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship

An expert in innovation management and growth strategy, Erik Noyes’s focus is on entrepreneurial thinking, new venture creation, and business innovation. An awarded trainer, he has consulted for companies such as Nokia, BMW, Hewlett-Packard, New Balance, and Motorola to identify and evaluate new growth businesses.

Jay Rao, Professor, Operations and Information Management Division

Jay Rao

Professor of Operations and Information Management

Jay Rao’s executive training and consulting expertise spans innovation, implementation of innovation initiatives within firms, corporate entrepreneurship, and customer experience innovation. He is widely published, sits on multiple advisory boards, and consults with companies across the globe.

Architectural futuristic composition

Backcasting to Build the Future

Unlike forecasting, which fosters incremental innovation, backcasting starts with the future in mind and works backward to outline the necessary steps to get there. The result? Breakthrough Innovation. Download this free tool kit with practical steps and examples of how to implement strategic innovation and backcasting in your organization.

Download tool kit

Our Clients Say It Best

When we learned of the work several of Babson’s faculty drove in the area managing Strategic Innovation, we turned to Professors Andrew Corbett and Gina O’Connor to help us better understand how to institute an innovation management system that both supported and took us beyond our core business....This work provides the foundation of our Strategic Innovation capability and has been beneficial to us as we propel Lubrizol into the future."  

– Mark Reese, Corporate Vice President, Technology & Innovation, Lubrizol

"Mathematica is a highly respected leader in the policy research sector. As we continue to grow, our business and the industries we support are evolving faster than ever. To ensure that we are positioned for growth and to deliver on the needs of our clients, the innovation team sought to learn about approaches to building a strategic innovation capability.   

Gina introduced the principles and tactics for doing just that, and helped us design a path forward for developing that capability as well as advise us on how we might consider the differences between strategic innovation and the new product/solution development stage gate methodology."

– Yvette M. Stanberry, Sr. Director, Head of Innovation, Mathematica

Educator pointing at a board

What Makes Babson Executive Education’s Innovation Courses Different?

Babson Executive Education offers programs in four practice areas: strategic innovation, entrepreneurial leadership, inclusive leadership, and entrepreneurship. We work with organizations and professionals around the world to turn ideas and challenges into opportunities. Our programs equip you with the practical tools and strategies to have an immediate impact on your organization or business.

Our Capabilities & Experts

Babson's Executive Education Innovation Experts in the News

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Evelyn Lager
Senior Director, Product & Business Development | Babson Executive Education