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Strategic Innovation: Building and Sustaining Innovative Organizations (Coursera)

Innovation strategy is about creating unique value for consumers by delivering a great product that satisfies their needs and capturing value back from consumers.

At the core of a successful innovation strategy is a great product concept. Product is an all-encompassing term that includes physical goods, intangible services, and even ideas. There are three pillars to a successful product strategy: a clear understanding of (a) the target customers (WHO), (b) the specific elements of the product offering (WHAT) that satisfies consumer needs and dovetails with company capabilities, and (c) the tactical plans to reach end consumers (HOW). The value proposition has to be embedded in a coherent business model in order to create and capture value. But well-laid innovation plans can go awry without a consideration of the business ecosystem that includes competitors, collaborators, including suppliers, distributors, and retailers, or the contextual environment in which the company operates. In an interdependent world, fostering an integrated ecosystem is critically important for companies interested in maximizing the odds of innovation success.

Drawing from many years of research, this course will offer a set of frameworks, tools, and concepts in order to develop innovative strategies in a holistic way so as to achieve leadership positions.

Course 1 of 7 in the Innovation: From Creativity to Entrepreneurship Specialization



Course Orientation

You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.

Module 1: Finding Your Innovation Sweet Spot: Crafting a Great Value Proposition

The first module will essentially lay the foundation for the strategic innovation course. You will gain an understanding of the concept of strategic innovation and the building blocks of innovation. You will also learn about prospect theory and how it relates to developing successful winning innovations. Finally, you will learn about developing customer value propositions that form the basis of delivering unique value to consumers.

Graded: Module 1 Quiz


Module 2: There Is More to a Product Than Just Function: Assessing Industry Trends

The second module will focus on a detailed view of innovation and how it relates to the various stakeholders, including consumers, firms, and the overall industry. More importantly, you will learn to assess industry context as you make important innovation decisions. First, you will gain an understanding of concept of the innovation adoption lifecycle and how innovations diffuse in a population of consumers. Then, you will learn about the concepts of the tipping points in an innovation lifecycle, i.e., sales takeoff and firm takeoff for an innovation in a particular new-to-the-world industry. Next, we will study the “failure framework” to examine issues of “overshooting” consumer demand by firms by mapping product performance and consumer expectations trajectories in an innovation context. Finally, you will learn about the different types of innovations and understand the concept of dominant design.

Graded: Module 2 Assignment

Graded: Module 2 Quiz


Module 3: Developing Winning Products: Sometimes Less Is More

The third module will touch upon the innovation adoption lifecycle, moving further into managing new product innovations. Beginning with the concept of crossing the chasm, you will learn about the trajectory of a product across the various stages in its life cycle. We will also discuss the process of customer journey mapping and its application in innovative product development. You will learn about developing innovative products from the nascent stages to the mature stages to achieve the perfect product-market fit. Next, we will study the product configuration map to understand its implications in building winning products.

Graded: Module 3 Quiz


Module 4: Executing Innovative Business Models: The Whole Is Bigger Than the Sum of Its Parts

With the fourth module, we will examine the elements of a business model. A business model is highly critical to the success of a company. You will learn about the advantages of a well-articulated innovative business model and how it can be constructed depending on the company capabilities and customer sensibilities. We will look at individual components of a business model and understand the necessity for developing synergies between each of the components. We will then focus on understanding a popular framework called the business model canvas. Finally, we will discuss the specific steps in designing cutting-edge business models through detailed analysis of several examples.

Graded: Module 4 Assignment

Graded: Module 4 Quiz

Course Conclusion