Simplicity Rules: Stanford Launches New Online Strategy Driven Innovation Course

12th course completes offerings for online Stanford Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Free webinar available July 15.

STANFORD, Calif.--()--Many successful companies shape their high-level strategies by relying on simple rules, not complicated frameworks. Even established organizations can introduce a continuous flow of new products and services by streamlining their processes and encouraging an atmosphere of "structured chaos." Stanford’s new online Strategy Driven Innovation course explores how participants can help their companies innovate through simple rules and processes.

The course will feature two interviews – one with serial entrepreneur Steve Blank and another with former Google operations executive and consultant Shona Brown. It also will cover "genetic" growth strategies for short-term goals and "probing" strategies for the long-term. Participants will examine case studies that evaluate why some strategies drive innovation and others fail. Enrollees will gain insights into how simple rules can outperform extensive analysis and information and will be able to practice the ideas in their own situations.

Key takeaways will include:

  • How to use simple rules as an alternative to complex processes
  • How to translate current strategy into growth
  • How to develop strategies for multiple time frames
  • How to work with a strategy paradigm of structured chaos
  • How to recognize rhythmic elements as drivers for strategy creation

Strategy Driven Innovation will be taught by Kathleen Eisenhardt, the Stanford W. Ascherman M.D. Professor at Stanford and Codirector of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. Her work centers on strategy and organization in high-velocity markets, especially in the technology sector. She is coauthor of Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos, which won the George R. Terry award for outstanding contribution to management thinking and was named a top-10 business and investing book by

The course will employ online lectures, videos, and exercises and may be taken at any time anywhere in the world. It is the 12th offering in a series of courses developed by Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and the Stanford Center for Professional Development. Participants may take the single course, or earn the online Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate by taking 8 of the 12 courses available. Acceptance to the program is ongoing and participants may apply to the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate program online.

To get a sense of the certificate program, prospective participants may watch a free webinar at 9 AM-10 AM PT on July 15, 2014: How to Create New Markets: Bridge the Gap between Business Growth and Customer Need.

The webinar will focus on how participants can meet customer needs of the moment while helping them understand how a new product can satisfy an unrecognized need. Some of the most breakthrough innovations are products and services about which customers are unaware. Smart phones, social networks, streaming music and video are all things that did not exist 10 years ago and people were not looking for them, but today are widely used.

The webinar will outline game-changing strategies and tactics used to create markets for new products. Donna Novitsky, CEO of Yiftee and a Stanford lecturer in Management Science and Engineering at the Stanford Engineering School, will teach the webinar. A recording of the webinar will also be made available to all those who register and are unable to attend the live session.

Other available online courses in the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate program include:

Through the certificate program, professionals around the world are able to access world-class faculty as they learn essential skills and effective strategies for working in and managing innovative organizations. An engaging digital experience has been developed by the Stanford Center for Professional Development at the School of Engineering to deliver the course content. Registration is open for all 12 courses. Tuition is $995 for each course.

Courses are taught by Stanford University faculty, drawing on instructors from the Graduate School of Business and the School of Engineering, including its Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, known as the, as well as Silicon Valley industry leaders. Faculty use highly interactive and occasionally unconventional methods. The online certificate program is led by faculty directors Robert Sutton, a professor of management science and engineering at the School of Engineering, and Hayagreeva Rao, professor of organizational behavior and human resources at the Graduate School of Business.

Entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as professionals from startups, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit teams, and the public sector, will find the program to be practical and impactful. Given the level of material, participants must be fluent in written and spoken English. Participants will develop the skills to become catalysts for change as they learn how to foster innovation throughout their organizations. Whether this is someone’s first class in innovation or a chance to cultivate a deeper understanding and practice of innovation, participants will learn how to use innovative thinking for personal and professional success. Details about the online certificate program can be found at For more program information, contact Kristin Brennan at 650.741.1630, or


Stanford Graduate School of Business
Barbara Buell, 650-723-1771
Communication Director

Release Summary

Stanford’s new online Strategy Driven Innovation course explores how simple rules can outperform extensive analysis to help companies innovate.


Stanford Graduate School of Business
Barbara Buell, 650-723-1771
Communication Director