The Intersection of Leadership & Innovation
Does your approach to strategic innovation lead or lag? MIT Professional Education can help.

Get in touch at TechnologyLeadership@mit.edu or +1.617.500.0885.

Do Your Leaders Nurture Innovation?

In The Intersection of Leadership & Innovation, MIT's Dr. David Niño helps participants harness the kinetic energy of leadership, empowering them to lead with self-awareness and creativity—the essential building blocks for innovative teams, cultures and organizations.

Bringing MIT's motto – mens et manus, or mind and hand – to life, participants explore leadership theory by analyzing and leveraging their leadership strengths in order to build high-performing teams easily capable of keeping pace in today's competitive, global markets.

The result? Highly self-aware leaders with the skills and knowledge required to inspire and nurture creativity and innovation that improves performance and competitive positioning.

Mens et Manus

At MIT Mens et Manus means blurring the boundaries of the theoretical and the practical - knowing not only the concept behind something, but also how to apply it and create value to industry and the world.

Participant Benefits

  • Understand how leadership enables innovation by building strategies, structures and cultures that support creativity
  • Recognize the links between creativity – a new or useful idea – and innovation, the execution and adoption of creative ideas
  • Reframe the importance of identifying and defining problems to spur creativity and enable innovation
  • Increase self-awareness of personal leadership style and its effects on group creativity and innovation that delivers results
  • Strengthen leadership skills to create sustainable, innovative teams and cultures
  • Increase effectiveness in building and leading high-performing teams
  • Articulate visions that inspire others to unleash motivations central to successful innovation

Organizational Benefits

  • Gain expertise in creating innovative teams and cultures that enable bold transformation
  • Increase organizational capacity to make sense of – and effectively leverage – rapid change
  • Establish a cadre of highly self-aware leaders with the skills and knowledge to lead high-performing, innovative teams and departments

Alumni Benefits

MIT Professional Education offers a range of benefits to participants that successfully complete this course, including:

  • Exclusive 15% discount to MIT Professional Education's on-campus Short Programs
  • Eligibility to join the invitation-only MIT Professional Education LinkedIn alumni group
  • Networking opportunities with other MIT Professional Education alumni
  • Complimentary subscription to MIT Professional Education's newsletter
  • Advance notifications from MIT Professional Education about upcoming courses, programs, and events

Earn an MIT Professional Education Certificate of Completion & CEUs

All participants that successfully complete the course receive an MIT Professional Education Certificate of Completion. MIT Professional Education Digital Plus Program participants also earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Units for each course are calculated based on learning contact hours. To earn CEUs participants must:

  • Create a personal profile for the course
  • Complete the online, course entrance survey
  • Complete all course modules and assignments required to earn a certificate of completion
  • Complete the online post-course evaluation survey

CEUs may be applied toward professional certification, licensing requirements, or other required training or continuing education hours. Please consult your training department or licensing authority directly.


Dr. David Niño, Senior Lecturer MIT

David Niño is a Senior Lecturer in the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program. Previously, he was Professor in the Practice of Engineering Leadership and Lecturer in Management at Rice University. While at Rice, he led the establishment of the university's first four-year academic certificate in engineering leadership and was Director of Leadership Rice, the university-wide leadership development program.

A former management professor, Dr. Niño has published on the subjects of leadership, ethics, organizational culture, and the development of professional management skills. He has conducted research in high technology environments and is currently interested in investigating how leadership is developed among engineers and engineering organizations.

Dr. Niño has taught leadership since 1998 at the undergraduate, masters, doctoral, and executive/professional levels. He is currently a founding officer of the Leadership Development Division of the American Society of Engineering Education and consults with professionals and executives in the areas of leadership and team development. He holds a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also earned his B.A., B.B.A., and M.A. degrees.

About MIT Professional Education

MIT Professional Education provides a gateway to MIT for science and engineering professionals around the world. Taught by renowned faculty from across the Institute, technical professionals gain crucial and timely knowledge in specialized fields, enhance their credentials, and boost their performance within their organizations. For more information, visit: professional.mit.edu.

The Intersection of Leadership & Innovation

This course brings MIT's motto—mens et manus, or mind and hand—to life. It will challenge you to unleash your innovative strengths, and as long as you are prepared to feel uncomfortable at times—and do it anyway—you will emerge a stronger, more innovative leader.

The full experience of this course is not just about working through the videos, exercises and assignments. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate creativity, leadership and personal accountability. Throughout the experience, you will be required to actively collaborate within small teams. Your team members will be relying on your input in order for the team to succeed. Your leadership and accountability will be key.

Are you ready to unleash your full innovation leadership potential?

The Course Modules

Live Module - Half-day, On-site Workshop (can be extended to full day)

  • Introductions and Team Exercise
  • Optimizing Your Cahoot Platform Learning Experience
  • Leading Strategic Innovation
  • Challenges of Developing Leadership Capacity

Module 1 – Why Leadership Matters in the Innovation Process

  • Innovating in a Fast Changing World
    • Why Creativity & Innovation Matter
    • Leadership Challenges Facing Your Organization
    • What is Creativity & Innovation
  • Unpacking & Repacking Creativity & Innovation
    • Houston, We Have a Problem: Case Study
    • Good Problem Statements
    • Leaders as Problem Finders
    • Generating Creative Solutions
  • The Roles of Leadership in Innovation
    • Inside & Insight into IDEO
    • IDEO at Work and Play
    • Enabling Innovation
    • Hindering Creativity

Module 2 – My Leadership Capabilities

  • Identifying Leadership Strengths
    • Strengths
    • Discovering Strengths from Past Experiences
    • 10 People x 3 Stories
    • Analyzing Story Feedback
  • What I Stand For
    • How Values Can Shape the Practice of Innovation
    • Forces that Hinder Ethical Decision Making
    • Achieving Clarity of What I Stand For
    • Science of Character
  • Forces That Shape Who I Am
    • Types of Motivations That Drive Leadership
    • Personal Events That Shaped Your Development
    • The Growth Mindset
    • Learning from Our Life Stories
    • Learning How We've Learned
    • My three Defining Stories
  • Imagining & Inventing our Futures
    • Our Capacities for Personal Innovation
    • Reflecting on our Past – Traps to Avoid
    • Imagining our Life's Meanings & Contributions
    • Leadership Development as a Process of Personal Reinvention

Module 3 – Creating & Communicating a Shared Vision

  • Elements of Shared Vision: Who We Are
    • Why Visions Matter
    • The Importance of Intrinsic Motivation to Innovation
    • Three Elements of Who We Are
    • Apple Recruiting
    • Crafting Your Message About Who We Are
  • Elements of Shared Vision: Where We've Been
    • Building on Shared History
    • Expressing Your Shared Values
    • Crafting Your Message About Where We've Been
  • Elements of Shared Vision: Where We Are Heading
    • Mastering Strategic Context
    • Charting New Directions and Motivating Execution
    • Speech Occasions as Moments of Connection
  • Delivering Your Strategic Vision
    • Leadership Development as Teaching
    • Using Stories, Symbols and Analogies
    • The Importance of Non-verbal Communication
    • Organizing Your Speech

Module 4 – Leading Innovative Teams: A Practicum

In this final module, participants work together in small teams to apply and further develop their approach to leading innovation by applying their new knowledge and skills in a practical final assignment. Using a current workplace or personal innovation challenge, participants will collaboratively construct and execute the initial phases of the solution, sharing major insights with the full cohort as the course wraps up.

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