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From Idea to Innovation: Inspiring Intrapreneurship


Jointly designed and delivered by Imperial College Business School and the Royal College of Art, this unique programme has the power to future-proof your career and business. Over five immersive and inspiring days, you’ll learn to innovate in all functions, including product, brand, price, procurement, product and service.

Unlike most Executive Education programmes, participants are encouraged to attend alongside other members of their organisation to create a winning cross-functional team. You’ll work together to transform an original idea into a real, prototype-based business proposition destined to add value to your organisation. You’ll even pitch it to a Dragons’ Den style panel. We also welcome individual applications, if you are not able to join with a team.

This practical programme will also teach you how to identify new business opportunities, the importance of crafting a story around your innovation and how to build the right business model to support your breakthrough. Finally, we’ll explore navigating organisational frameworks and successfully negotiating for internal resources.

Who should attend?

Managers from anywhere in the world, in any industry, who aspire to innovate successfully within their organisation and enable teams to innovate. You may well have a technical background but that is not essential, as we shall develop innovations in services and processes as well as in products.


  • The opportunity to take one week out to practice innovation
  • Learn what it takes take an idea to develop a viable business proposition
  • The confidence that you will leave the programme knowing how to become entrepreneurial within your organisation and to inspire teams and colleagues to innovate with you.
  • Interaction and networking with peers from different industries and countries
  • Offers a focused opportunity to develop promising innovation projects that are directly relevant to your organisation, and to receive input on it from world-class experts
  • Participants return to work equipped with immediately applicable tools
  • Participant return to work with an enhanced ability to work across organisational silos.

Programme content

Rekindling Innovation + Organisational Context

Session 1: An Innovation Safari: Understanding different forms of innovation

Framed by Dr. Clare Brass from the RCA this session will involve sending the delegates in an Innovation Safari. Working in small groups delegates will visit studios at the Royal College of Art, and review specific exhibits at the Science Museum London where key lessons from the morning session will be evident and then report back on their findings. The safari will include a design and visualisation exercise with students from the RCA and reviews of award winning ventures that illustrate different aspects of innovation, its management and practice.

High Performance – High Velocity Innovation: Presenting the results of the Innovation Survey

Dr Clare Brass will review the feedback from the innovation survey and the current innovation challenges perceived by each Team. Clare will compare the outputs with innovation in other leading organisations and potential new entrants using the different dimensions explored in the Safari. The session will allow delegates to examine the inhibitors to innovation as well as innovation assets and enablers in their respective organisation, and explore how those enablers can be strengthened and inhibitors addressed by enhancing their organisation’s innovation strategy.

Innovation Projects

Prof Bart Clarysse will present on innovation projects, what barriers do, such projects face when how to take innovation projects back to business units.

Innovation Toolkit: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Technology Environments

Technology and Business Model Innovation

Prof Bart Clarysse will explore with delegates the challenges associated with developing new businesses from technological innovation. He will present the different kinds of technological innovation, as well as innovation along the industry life cycle. He will also address Fast Follower innovation, as well as Business Model Innovation.

Commercialization Strategies for Innovative Ideas

Prof Bart Clarysse will present in this session the portfolio of possible commercialization strategies that can be associated with innovative ideas. He will examine how to look for outside opportunities, the protection of innovation. He will also present how to do a value chain analysis, and specific commercial strategies for profiting from technological innovation.

Platforms for Innovation Part 1

Prof Annabelle Gawer from Imperial College will lead this session which focuses on the power of platforms for innovation. We will address questions such as: How can you accelerate innovation using the power of platforms, and in particular digital platforms? What are platforms, exactly? What are innovation ecosystems? How can firms design and use platforms across the supply-chain to stimulate and coordinate innovation? Who is in your innovation ecosystem, and who are your “complementors”? How to define a platform business model that works for you? Through a combination of lecture, examples, and group exercises, participants will be exposed to these concepts, and get a chance to translate and apply them to their own organizational and industry context.

In this session, led by Prof Bart Clarysse and Prof Annabelle Gawer, delegates will briefly present their project idea (which they will have developed prior to the programme) to the whole cohort, and discuss how they will apply the learning from Day 1 and 2 to their project.

Innovation Toolkit – Opportunity Shaping & Organizational Context

Opportunity Shaping and Design Part 1

Competitive advantages are increasingly becoming short-lived. Firms thus need to build and develop their capabilities in identifying and shaping new business opportunities. During this session, led by Professor Marc Gruber, participants will get to know key elements affecting the types of opportunities they are able to see (and not see!), and learn ways in which they can systematically design and improve their initial opportunities. They will get to know frameworks that will help them to ask the right questions, and to guide them in this essential business activity.

Navigating the Organizational Context: Crafting an Innovation Narrative

Successful innovation requires capturing the attention and generating the enthusiasm of important stakeholders. In this interactive session conducted by Professor Sankalp Chaturvedi, participants will learn to craft an “innovation narrative”, and develop the skill of creating an innovation vision and communicating it.

Navigating the Organizational Context: Working in Teams

Innovation cannot be developed alone in organizations, and depends crucially on the well-functioning of teams. Professor Sankalp Chaturvedi will conduct a discussion the participants of some of dysfunctions of teams and how to avoid them. In addition, the importance of first meetings and the value of a team charter will be discussed. The participants will be encouraged to apply the learning in the project teams.

Innovation Tool Kit: Design Led Innovation and Jam

Design Thinking and User Centred Design

Dr Clare Brass and Dr Jonathan Edelman will run a workshop where delegates will be introduced to tools for user centred design approach to product/service systems. The session will allow delegates to explore design and ethnographic research techniques to understand users and other stakeholders needs. They will examine tools and techniques fusing case studies from other sectors, and apply principles to a product/service system concept example from their organization.

Guest Speaker session with Markus Holtz from Hellon

Hellon is a Service Design consultancy with offices in Helsinki and London. Scandinavia has been leading in human centred design for centuries with values of empathy, smartness, honesty and courage. Hellon’s service design expertise builds on these Nordic values to help businesses create outstanding, human centred customer experiences. Hellon is ranked amongst the Top15 Service Design agencies in the world.

In this session we look at how to create a more customer centric culture- building empathy skills in your organisation needs to go hand in hand with customer centric processes if you want to create a truly customer focussed culture. Markus hohl, CEO of Service Design consultancy Hellon, London shares lessons learned in practice

Design Jam

Dr Clare Brass and Dr Jonathan Edelman and experienced designers will work with delegates to translate the concepts and ideas presented at the Ideas Fair into innovative product service systems. They will work on Problem Identification, Brainstorming, Solution Generation.

The Design Jam which will last all day and into the evening and will include exercises on user-centred research, rapid prototyping and testing of concepts and ideas and building basic prototypes of digital and physical product service systems.

Delegates will work with expert visualisers and studio teams to storyboard the deployment of the solutions and demonstrate use cases for their solutions and during the evening develop a presentation that will be presented the following morning

At the end of the day, there will be presentation of concepts from the Design Jam to the group including prototypes and solution storyboards

Finale + Presentations

Integration Workshop: Putting the Pitch Together

In this interactive workshop, Prof Bart Clarysse and Prof Annabelle Gawer will work with delegates in their groups to rehearse their presentations which they shall refine for the afternoon Dragon’s Den.

Group Presentations

In this session, the groups will present their project work to senior representatives from their company, Imperial College Business School and RCA faculty and a VC if relevant. They will receive feedback on their presentation.

Programme Close

Programme key info

5 days
Team of 3: £10,499 Team of 2: £7,999 Individual: £4,499
Imperial College Business School

Only at Imperial

On the From Idea to Impact Programme we take participants on an Innovation Safari – exposing delegates to different innovations and aiming to change mindsets from static to proactive and forward thinking.

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