Certificate in Business Innovation

Understanding and Leading Innovation

Perhaps the most significant survey related to innovation was conducted recently by GE, which interviewed more than 1,000 senior business executives in twelve countries. They found that 95% of the executives believe innovation is the main lever for a more competitive national economy and 88% of survey respondents said that innovation is the best way to create jobs in their country. And, according to Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat and That Used To Be Us, “only the jobs of innovators and entrepreneurs will be immune to outsourcing or automation in the new global economy.” At the Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson College of Business, our specialty is helping individuals achieve their fullest potential as leaders, innovators, and change-makers.

The Certificate Program in Business Innovation is a four-day program designed for individuals who want to design innovation projects and lead innovation teams. It is a fast-paced program taught by world-class and world-tested professors and practitioners. They will facilitate the program using multi-media presentations, timely case studies, computer simulations, buzz groups, and numerous small-group activities.

Key Topics

The program's key topics include:

Day One: Understanding Innovation Types, Dynamics and Genomics

  • Introduction to innovation’s key principles and types
  • Overview of the Discovery—Invention—Adoption road map
  • Case Study: How You Innovate Is What You Innovate
  • Environmental scanning and how innovators make the future
  • Understanding the power of the Competing Values Framework

Day Two: Transcendent Innovation and Holistic Value Propositions

  • Introduction to the Blue Earth Innovation Model
  • Understanding the seven principles of the Blue Earth Model
  • Developing transcendent brands that avoid commodization
  • Creating your Holistic Value Proposition
  • Identifying the emotional and tangible barriers to innovation

Day Three: The Innovation Playbook - The Discovery Phase—Your Opportunity to Practice

  • Uncover your passion for innovating; Select and frame an innovation challenge or opportunity
  • Surface what you know and don’t know: Identify people to engage
  • Choose your discovery methods: Develop an ethnographic interviewing guide
  • Practice your ethnographic interviewing skills: Use what you learn to reframe your challenge
  • Extract the insight from the Discovery Phase; Create an empathy map for "tips and tails"

Day Four: The Innovation Playbook - The Prototyping Phase—Your Opportunity to Pitch

  • Brainstorm potential prototype solutions to your innovation challenge or opportunity
  • Test new points-of-view (POVs) using the "How Might We" approach
  • Develop your prototype: Pitch the prototype
  • Redesign the prototype based on the feedback
  • Making Innovation Happen - Determining Next Steps

Program Faculty

Udaiyan JatarUdaiyan Jatar is CEO of Blue Earth Network, a fully integrated transformation agency created with the purpose of unleashing the full potential of leaders to transform business, society, and the planet. Jatar is an innovation expert and former executive with The Coca-Cola Company, P&G, Grey Advertising, and Nestle.

Other program faculty members include:

  • Everett Darby, partner with Growth River Consulting and former executive, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Rob Williams, Ph.D., GSU professor specializing in collaboration, creativity, and change management
  • Kristina Wolf, Certified Professional Innovator (CPI), and executive at the First Data Corporation

What's special about this program?

The Certificate Program in Business Innovation is a fast-paced, highly interactive program that includes a mix of presentations, buzz groups, and hands-on practice. Each participant will be asked to read the book Leaders Make the Future by Bob Johansen as well as several innovation articles, and view innovation videos prior to program start. The program is designed and taught by world-class innovation professors and world-tested senior executives responsible for global innovation. The program will help you build your organization's internal capacity for generating new ideas and accelerating profitable growth.

Lead innovation-focused strategies, projects, and teams

Upon program completion, you will walk away with some of today's most sought-after skills including:

  • Leading the Innovation Process
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Curiosity and Imagination
  • Building a Culture of Innovation
  • Agility and Adaptability
  • Initiative and Entrepreneurship
  • Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • Conflict as a Source of Creativity

Program Participants (Who Should Attend)

The Certificate Program in Business Innovation is especially designed for companies who want to send a team (4-5) of employees who will both learn innovation best practices and immediately generate breakthrough and game-changing innovations.

People who should attend include:

  • High-performing teams who want to learn innovation best practices and use their new skills to create transcending and game-changing innovations.
  • High-potential individuals interested in developing cutting-edge knowledge and competitive practices in strategic innovation and creativity.
  • Executives and global leaders who want to better understand business innovation and take the lead in building a culture of innovation.


Stay tuned for future course dates.


Georgia State University, Robinson College of Business
Buckhead Center, Tower Place 200, Suite 500, 3348 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30326


$3,950 per person, standard registration fee


The discounts are listed below. Please send an email to execed@dev.gsu.edu or call 404-413-7300 to confirm eligibility and to obtain the appropriate discount code.

  • Early-Bird (30 Days Prior) – 5%
  • Non-Profit Organizations – 10%
  • Military and Veterans – 10%
  • Companies sending a team of three or more – 10%
  • Past GSU Exec Ed Program Participants – 10%
  • GSU Students or Alumni – 25%
  • GSU Staff Members – 50%

Note: Discounts cannot be combined.

Custom Programs

To customize this program for your company or industry, contact:

David Forquer
assistant dean for executive programs
dforquer@dev.gsu.edu or 404-413-7183

"I think this is the best innovation program in the world. This program demystifies innovation and makes it simple. Anybody can build a billion-dollar company just by following the process taught in this course."

"The program on business innovation brought together and made sense of innovation theories and approaches. The practical applications and exercises were very helpful."

"This executive education program was exactly what I needed to prevent me from continuing to 'boil the ocean' and transition towards a strategic way to innovate."

"This was an excellent program with a perfect blend of theory and practice. I will go back to my company with new inspiration and a new and better approach to innovation."

"The Certificate Program in Business Innovation provided me with the tools and confidence to go back to the office and affect real change."

"This program was phenomenal! My mind was blown away every day! I left class each day wondering how it could possibly get any better, and the next day it did! I thought for sure I'd float into class on the last day."

"The GSU innovation professors have a deep knowledge of how to convert the complex into simplicity so we could more easily learn the innovation process. I could not believe that in a few days we were able to generate new ideas and prototypes that have enormous business potential."

"I attended a customized version of this program sponsored by our company. It was the best training program I have ever attended. It was fast-paced and a perfect blend of theory and practice. My colleagues and I are extremely excited about the new innovations that we created during the program."

"After attending a program facilitated by the GSU innovation professors, I returned to work a different person. I now totally understand the innovation process and also have the leadership skills, and inspiration, to make innovation happen. People at work are asking me — "What happened to you?"

"If you want to master the art and discipline of innovation, attend one of these innovation programs designed by the GSU Robinson College of Business. I was amazed by how much ground we covered in a few short days. My team and I have a prototype idea that we want to show the CEO tomorrow!"

"Most training programs I attend are death by PowerPoint. This program was all about the practice of innovation including hands-on exercises that focused on real issues we were facing at the company. We came up with one prototype that could be a game changer."