Identifying Opportunities for Innovation

Generating Winning Ideas

Created in partnership with: Christian TerwieschKarl T. Ulrich

Identifying Opportunities For Innovation

What You Will Learn

  • Learn a process for identifying opportunities for innovation
  • Experience a single-round innovation tournament
  • Align leadership around fostering innovation

What You Will Do

  • Examine how to use both internal and external opportunities to fil your innovation pipeline.
  • Explore questions such as: where should one look for ideas? How can one improve idea quality? How can more ideas be produced?
  • Pull specific levers to improve the success of your pipeline
    • The quantity lever
    • The quality lever
    • The variance lever
    • The filter ratio lever


One of the central questions when it comes to innovation is “Where do ideas come from?” While the innovation process is often compared to lightning or flying sparks—spontaneous and uncontrollable—it can actually be managed effectively by employing the right techniques.

Regardless of whether you are a manager tasked with leading the innovation process, or an individual contributor looking for that next great idea, this Learning Sprint will show you how to “fill your innovation pipeline” with winning ideas. The focus in this Sprint is on which levers you can pull to find truly outstanding ideas, or as we’ll refer to them, opportunities.

To practice the techniques you’ll participate in an “Innovation Tournament” designed to help you identify and evaluate innovation opportunities. On the final day of the Sprint, you’ll share what you’ve learned, review the results of the tournament and discuss next steps for applying the concepts in your role.

Course Outline

Expert Faculty

Christian Terwiesch
Andrew M. Heller Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Karl T. Ulrich
Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Additional Material