Innovation Tournaments at Wharton

Posted By SWatts on Dec 19, 2013 | 0 comments

From The Staff of MBA

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Innovation Tournaments at Wharton

The book Innovation Tournaments: Creating and Selecting Exceptional Opportunities, authored by Wharton innovation professors Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich, has spurred a new global competition as well as an executive program led and inspired by the two pioneering authors of the book.

Knowledge@Wharton has created a global competition based on processes and methods outlined in the book Innovation Tournaments, with the competition mirroring the book’s name. The challenge invites individuals and groups worldwide to submit ideas in consideration of a solution for a given problem, such as implementing green technology or customer service innovation. Entries are required to explore a wide range of business processes, including business models and model changes that can help to reduce associated costs, increase efficiency, and foster greater customer satisfaction. Semi-finalists are then required to present their ideas at Wharton with the opportunity to be awarded up to $20,000 for finalists and winning teams.

2013 marked the first year of the new Innovation Tournaments Executive Program, held over a three-day period from March 18-20, 2013 at the Wharton Aresty Institute for Executive Education. The executive course, taught by professors Terwiesch and Ulrich, challenges the often-held notion that innovation arises from luck and a properly cultivated environment. Instead, the program teaches students how to harness their internal creativity, filter good ideas with potential for success from those without potential for success, and most importantly, move those ideas through the process from concept to concrete reality. The process of idea creation is merely a stepping-stone toward the larger, critical step of instituting the idea into a hands-on process for structure, organization, and execution. The take-away notion from the intensive course asserts that successful innovation follows a standard, learnable method. If the process is built the right way, the right people, culture, and success will inherently follow.

Having already aided in the development of thousands of Wharton executives and MBA students, professors Terwiesch and Ulrich have helped lead many companies into effective and successful innovation, from pharmaceutical companies and green tech companies to customer service sectors and financial services consultants. In understanding the association between innovation and process, people can better learn how to better manage finance, marketing, and operations to better manage innovation.

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