The Art and Science of Innovation: How Design and Creativity Impact Business

Unleash your creativity to fuel innovation

Years of research in neuroscience and other disciplines now debunk the myth that creative geniuses are born, not made. The truth is that leaders can engender more creativity in their practice and translate flashes of insight into tangible, purpose-driven outcomes.

What if there were a framework to develop a sustainable, enduring competitive advantage for you and your organization — would you want to learn and implement it?

The Art and Science of Innovation program brings learners on a journey that teaches a process — one that is supported by research and real-world practice and inspired by design thinking principles. The founding principle is that few competitive advantages endure over time except creative advantage. Advantages achieved through supply-chain innovation or marketing savvy are fleeting. But if an organization uses creativity as a business tool, it can embrace constraints and changing contexts to fuel innovation, not stifle it.

Online Programs
Creativity as Competitive Edge

Discover the rules and tools of ideation

Who Should Attend

  • Senior executives who want to build a culture of innovation where creativity becomes a competitive advantage in their organization
  • Functional experts and mid-level managers who manage a team and want to instill more creative thinking in their team’s daily practice
  • Corporate entrepreneurs (or intrapreneurs) and consultants who drive innovation initiatives
  • Entrepreneurs and business owners who strive to create a highly differentiated product offering and build teams with creative DNA
  • Individual contributors from technical and non-technical fields who aspire to — or have recently gained — management responsibilities

Key Benefits

  • Discover the foundational principles of “creative advantage” to fuel creativity and innovation in your life and your organization
  • Get inspired to spark insights and opportunities to create meaningful impact and change
  • Discover the rules and tools of ideation for yourself and your organization
  • Engage the creative methods that bring your ideas to life
  • Develop your persuasion skills to act as a creativity ambassador and evangelist in your organization

Program Content

Week 1 - Creativity as a Business Tool

Discover the founding principles of “Creative Advantage” to fuel creativity and innovation in your life and your organization

  • Survey the neuroscience research and bust the myth of “creative genius”
  • What is creativity, really, and what is its relationship to innovation?
  • Learn how and why creative organizations thrive — and how creativity can help them create a competitive advantage

Week 2 - Getting Inspired

Get inspired to spark insights and opportunities to create meaningful impact and change.

  • Tap into the power of analogy: getting outside of your domain and domain fusion
  • Identify sources for inspiration
  • Learn how to reframe problems, uncover the real issue, embrace empathy, question norms, seek analogous inspiration to gain fresh perspective, benefit from multidisciplinary teams and hunt for work-arounds

Week 3 - Ideas and Collaboration

Discover the rules and tools of ideation for yourself and your organization.

  • Survey the research on the value of diverse teams and the use of motley crews
  • Adopt a process for translating observations into opportunities
  • Discover the best practices of brainstorming, brainwriting, and speed-storming: research-driven processes for generating lots of quality ideas

Week 4 - Making Ideas Real

Engage the creative methods that bring your ideas to life.

  • Learn best practices for turning ideas into product iterations
  • Experimentation and failure: stories of winners and losers when a change in course is required
  • Anatomy of the prototype: get comfortable with “good enough”

Week 5 - Implementing Ideas and Inspiring Others

Develop your communication and persuasion skills to act as an ambassador and evangelist for creativity in your organization.

  • The Creative Continuum: welcoming others into the creative process and communicating ideas creatively to others, including leadership
  • Learn about insider-vs.-outsider bias: how reactions to people and their ideas outside your company differ from those within it
  • Survey the research on how different leadership styles react to deviant/different ideas and assess your own style of leadership when encountering deviant ideas


David Schonthal - Academic Director; Clinical Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Faculty Director of Zell Fellows Program; Senior Director of Business Design – IDEO

Leigh Thompson - Academic Director; J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution & Organizations Professor of Management & Organizations


What is the program about?

In The Art and Science of Innovation, you will learn to use creativity as a business tool, flipping constraints into opportunities for innovation and gaining the confidence to inspire others to be receptive to your ideas.

What is the learning experience?

Your learning experience will consist of frameworks delivered via video lectures, live webinars, real world examples and case studies, application of frameworks through weekly activities, customized assignments and quizzes, discussion boards, and faculty engagement.

What is the program format?

The program consists of 6 modules delivered over 6 weeks online. Learners can expect to dedicate 4-6 hours per week to watch videos, complete assignments and participate in discussions.

Could a learner choose to opt out of some topics?

No. This is an online program in which a topic module is introduced each week and the learner is expected to watch the video lectures, participate in the optional live webinars, complete the exercises/activities and take the mastery quiz at the end of each week to progress to the subsequent week’s topic.

How much time is allocated to complete assignments?

The due date for submitting assignments is typically within 7 days of the module opening, but can be as long as 14 days, depending on the scope of the assignment. However, learners may request deadline extensions to accommodate for business and personal conflicts that may arise during the program timeframe. Reach out to the program leader to discuss any challenges you may have in completing assignments.

Can participation in this program be counted as credit toward a degree, either at Kellogg, Northwestern University or another academic institution?

No. Executive Education offers only non-degree programs and each participant receives a certificate of completion at the end of the program. This certificate does not count as credit toward a degree. In addition, at this time, our online programs do not count as credit toward a Kellogg Executive Scholar Certificate.

Does the program offer community engagement for learners?

Yes, participants can create a profile, connect and collaborate with peers, and interact with academic/industry experts such as program leaders and teaching assistants. Office hours will be held during the program and all participants are welcome to join in with questions or to discuss assignments.

What are the requirements for accessing the program?

Participants will need the following to access the The Art and Science of Innovation program:

  • Valid email address
  • Computing device connected to the internet (Mac/PC/laptop, tablet or smartphone)
  • The latest version of your preferred browser to access our learning platform (Chrome and Firefox are preferred for accessing Canvas)
  • Microsoft Office and PDF viewer to access content such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, and transcripts
  • Additional software and resources may be required for certain programs – this will be communicated upon registration and/or at the beginning of the program
  • PLEASE NOTE: Google, Vimeo and YouTube may be utilized in the program delivery

Does the program offer a certificate?

Yes. Participants will receive a digital certificate of completion from Kellogg following a successful conclusion to the program. Since this program is graded as a pass or fail, participants must receive an 80% to pass and obtain the certificate. This digital certificate can be shared with colleagues and posted on LinkedIn. (PLEASE NOTE: We do not provide reports of assessments, or “transcripts,” since this is a non-degree program.)

Who is Emeritus and what is their relationship with Kellogg Executive Education?

Kellogg Executive Education is partnering with Emeritus Institute of Management, an online education provider, to develop and deliver this program. By working with Emeritus, we are able to provide broader access to Executive Education, beyond our on-campus offerings, in a collaborative and engaging format that is consistent with Kellogg’s standard of quality.

Additional questions?

Please contact us by calling 847-467-6018 or email us at

Upcoming Session

February 23 - April 6, 2022

Start: March 2 at 12:00 AM

End: April 6 at 12:00 AM

Accepting registrations through March 1


* Special pricing offer for a limited time

May 12 - June 23, 2022

Start: May 19 at 12:00 AM

End: June 23 at 12:00 AM

Accepting registrations through May 18


* Special pricing offer for a limited time

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208