Innovation Imperative

Course Description: 

Ten years have passed since the global financial crisis. After the initial cost cutting period and because of the emergence of the 3rd platform technologies every organization has started their digital transformation. Technologies are now creating a wave of industrial and economic disruption. Digitization of the business will not be enough in the future, we need to digitally reinvent our enterprise in order to succeed in this disruptive environment. We need to fundamentally reimagine how our organisation operates and how it engages in the new business environment. Winning the battle is not a standalone fight any more. Living in ecosystems are inevitable as they are reshaping not only the enterprises but industries or even economies. Orchestrated ecosystems will help organisations access new markets, develop new engagement models and expand their existing capabilities. New customer experience is at the core of digital reinvention and because of that forward thinking organisations are developing experience-based strategies by bringing the customer back to the centre of their universe.

Today we can already see some results of these changes. We can see which companies have taken good or bad strategic innovation steps, which innovation imperatives work and which do not. The goal of this course is to examine these few years backwards in order to better understand the near future. Our scope is not to explore the emerging technologies, that is the primary objective of our Digital Transformation course but to understand the interplay between technology and management since this is the only way to be successful in innovation.

This course is strategic in nature and asks the student to think big and develop ways to have impact. It focuses on the pervasive need in the modern economy to leverage modern innovation in order to maintain overall competitiveness and make a difference. Important aims of this course also include learning how to recognize and selectively employ the diverse ways modern enterprises access innovative and entrepreneurial capabilities.

There is also a twist in the learning process. Instead of inviting C-level people from the dominant players to present their approach, students will form small groups and investigate each company assessing their strategic imperatives and innovation activities. The result will not only be presented in class but our intention is to present in front of the guests representing the specific company and put a mirror in front of them showing them how we can see their actions from outside. A debate discussion will follow…

Learning Outcomes: 

Core Learning Area

Learning Outcome

Interpersonal Communication Skills

Able to communicate complex business subjects in a succinct but sophisticated fashion. Students will improve their written and verbal skills in articulating and supporting innovation strategies.

Technology Skills

Integrate technology and business thinking.

Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity

Students will have increased understanding and acceptance of diverse viewpoints.

Quantitative Reasoning


Enhance blending quantitative and qualitative reasoning.

Critical Thinking

Students will be encouraged to be creative and professional in dealing with a range of business issues and challenges.

Ethics and Responsibility

Students will be asked to consider the ethical implications of innovation.

Management Knowledge and Skills

Enhance ability to practice sophisticated integration of diverse approaches and to create new ways to think and deal with management issues.


The course grade will be based on a number of different evaluation elements.

  • Individual class participation        40%
  • Student Team Presentation         30%
  • Final Reflection Paper                 30%

Grade        Quality rating Grade points Awarded
A                Outstanding                   4.00
A-               Excellent                        3.67
B+              Very good                     3.33
B                Good                             3.00
B-               Satisfactory                   2.67
C+              Minimum pass                2.33
F                Fail                               0.00

The instructor reserves the right to adjust the scale, that is, to grade on a "curve", should he find that significantly more than the usual number of students would not pass the course under the indicated grading scale or should the distribution of the grades represent an unrealistic pattern.

Individual Class participation – 40%

40% of the grading points will be earned by a student for class participation.

Class activities include:

  • Evidence of preparation,
  • Contributions to class discussion,
  • Bringing real life examples based on own working experience,
  • Raising thought provoking questions

These points are subjective by nature. The instructor will do his best to be as fair as possible but this grading element is not open for discussions.

Student Team Presentation – 30%

Student teams are asked to prepare assignments together during the course. Each study group will also be asked to prepare a presentation that comprises an analysis and assessment on the innovation strategy of a selected firm. This will take place in Session 3,4,5 and 6. Some company information and a beginning set of sources for this assignment will be provided. However, largely each study group is asked to visit the website of the firm and to conduct its own research seeking other relevant sources from the field in preparing for this assignment. Each study group is expected to offer a presentation that will last 15 minutes and then allow for another 15 minutes for discussion and questions in class together with guest representatives (preferable C-level, upon availability) from the specific company. The presentation should be given in PowerPoint or Prezi and should be handed in before the beginning of the relevant session.

Final Reflection Paper - 30%

Same Student Teams are then asked to write a final reflection paper by the end of the course. The paper should include the essence of the company assessed in the previous assignment and conclusions of the discussion in class with the guests from the specific company. This paper should not exceed 15 pages (double spaced), including exhibits, figures, charts, etc. The final paper is due 7 days after the last session (Please submit via Moodle). Instructor will provide a written evaluation of the paper.

Academic Integrity

The Instructor expects all students to adhere to the fundamental principles of academic integrity in any and all behaviours associated with their course work and otherwise, as stated in the CEU Honor Code (see Student Handbook). Attempted cheating of all forms is treated extremely seriously and can result in dismissal from the University.


No prerequisites