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Breakthrough Innovation: Strategies for Taking Your Moonshot

Breakthrough Innovation: Strategies for Taking Your Moonshot

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NYU Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012

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Breakthrough Innovation: Strategies for Taking Your Moonshot


In this class, Professor Melissa Schilling draws on decades of research on breakthrough innovation and breakthrough innovators to show you how to nurture and harness your own breakthrough innovation potential. Through a series of exercises, participants will identify and prioritize their best breakthrough innovation opportunities and a path to bringing those ideas to reality. 

Using rich examples and lessons from the lives of Elon Musk, Dean Kamen, Marie Curie, Steve Jobs, and other mega-innovators, Professor Schilling will help participants develop a set of strategies and habits designed to increase their ability to see the big picture of any industry setting, better tap their creative insight, cultivate intense task confidence (i.e., faith that they can overcome any obstacle to achieve their goals), and chart out a game plan for pursuing a life-changing innovation – a “moonshot.”

This course is primarily designed to help individuals harness their own breakthrough innovation potential, but it is also extremely useful for managers who want to to better nurture the breakthrough innovation of those they work with.

Bundle and Save

Breakthrough Innovation builds upon the concepts and skills taught in Change Leadership. Save 15% by taking both courses in our Driving Growth through Innovation bundle.

Certificates and Credits

Upon completion of this course, participants will receive a Certificate of Achievement. This program is also eligible for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits through NASBA.

Program Takeaways

  • Breakthrough Innovation Opportunities

    Use exercises to see the “big picture” of your industry, revealing its most important breakthrough innovation opportunities. You will also use an exercise to identify those innovation opportunities you find most intrinsically motivating to help you prioritize your best moonshot ideas.
  • Habits for Reaching Your Breakthrough Potential

    Learn how to better nurture the breakthrough innovation potential of yourself and others through developing routines and habits that nurture creative insight, self-efficacy and resilience.
  • Moonshot Opportunity Roadmap

    Create a step-by-step game plan for pursuing your best moonshot opportunity.

Who Should Attend

Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for executives who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

  • Years of Experience

    Designed for professionals with 5+ years of work experience
  • Job Functions

    Ideal for any professional who wants to harness their own breakthrough potential, or managers who want to nurture the breakthrough potential of their teams
  • Prerequisites

    Intended for anyone with a desire to learn new tools, habits and methods that they can apply to achieve their life-changing goals and innovation ideas


The following agenda is a sample and subject to change.

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast

Module 1: What makes some people spectacularly innovative? How can we nurture breakthrough innovation in our organization?

This module will focus on the individual and organizational practices that help to foster (or hinder) breakthrough innovation. We will discuss some of the surprising commonalities among serial breakthrough innovators and how those commonalities helped facilitate their generation of creative ideas and intense perseverance. We will then use that understanding to gain insight into how we can nurture breakthrough innovation in ourselves and others.

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm: Lunch

Module 2: Understanding innovation types and patterns. Leverage, Information, and Incentives

Though innovation often seems surprising or unpredictable, it actually has some very reliable patterns that we use to anticipate when an industry will be disrupted, the path innovation will take, and the types of players who are likely to dominate the new technological era. In this module we will cover some of the main patterns in technological change, and explore what their implications are for your industry.

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Day 1 Conclusion and Evaluations

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast

Module 3: Digitization and platform strategy

Digitization is transforming all kinds of industries, including pharmaceuticals, consumer products, music, news, travel, food service, and more. In many industries it has helped to give rise to platforms such as Spotify, iOS, Facebook, Amazon, Kickstarter, and others that mediate the relationship between customers and multiple kinds of producers. In this module we will look at the way digitization helps to transform industries, when and why industries are likely to be dominated by platforms, and how a firm can design its own platform strategy.

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm: Lunch

Module 4: What’s your best innovation bet? Leverage, Information, and Incentives

In this module we will harness some of what we learned in the previous modules through an exercise that will help you get a better “big picture” perspective of the dynamics in your industry. This exercise helps managers identify where the biggest payoff areas are for innovation, where disruptive innovation is most likely to occur, and which players are positioned to lead it. It culminates in the creation of a prioritization matrix of the areas in which your organization should focus their innovation efforts.

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Program Conclusion and Evaluations