Applying new knowledge to real problems for measurable results.

For Corporate Teams

Strategic Thinking & Innovation

Leveraging the expertise and experience of our leading faculty, Penn State Executive Programs offers a proven multi-stage approach to Strategic Thinking & Innovation.


Our comprehensive due-diligence work includes deep analyses of critical organizational intelligence and custom-designed interviews with members of your executive leadership team.


In our key role as facilitators with decades of combined experience, Penn State Executive Programs leads intensive discussion sessions with members of your leadership team. We will work with you to:

  • Explore the current state of the business including successes and missed opportunities
  • Investigate emerging customer needs and marketplace changes
  • Rethink the entire business model including capabilities, relationships, and core competencies required to fulfill customer needs


Armed with a refreshed view of the business world and your organization's place in it, Penn State Executive Programs works with your leaders to determine the most important priorities for meeting goals and achieving growth.

Client Example

Penn State Executive Programs earned the 2010 Chief Learning Officer Gold Award for Excellence in Academic Partnerships for its work with an international restaurant franchise in helping the company determine its future strategy. With more than 1,070 stores in 23 countries, the franchisor had exceeded the goals of the strategic plan it established in 2006. Smeal faculty worked directly with the executive leadership team of the franchise in a Strategic Planning Process to create a new vision for the company.

Through interviews with the executive team, Smeal faculty worked to not only get an accurate picture of the business's current state, but also to identify areas of growth based on the company's values, uniqueness, and core competencies for success. The growth areas were whittled down to a collection of core strategic imperatives, and the team identified the organizational capabilities, operating systems, and talent required to achieve them. Following company-wide efforts to gauge the strategy's performance, faculty members led a strategic planning workshop for the leadership group of franchisees to discuss the benefits of the vision and how it can positively impact sales.

Download the complete client profile to learn more.

The Innovation Leader

In today’s fast moving and complex global environment, the ability to innovate and deploy faster and more profitably than competitors is now a requisite for growth and success. For companies that are founded on new products, such as Apple, the focus on innovation has always been a fundamental part of the culture. For many companies, the move to dynamic innovation is more difficult for many reasons which include a diverse customer base, a complex mix of products and services, a focus on minimizing risks and a traditional static-control culture.

The burst of focus in the last decade has focused on innovation processes, such as Stage-Gate, and on the CEO’s role in setting strategic vision and creating organizational structures and processes that unleash creativity, risk-taking, and collaboration throughout the organizational culture. Very little has been written on Innovation Leaders, those individuals who lead a new product or service through ideation, design, development, market launch and implementation.  These Innovation Leaders will be the catalysts for change by bringing diverse parts of the organization together to launch new products and services.

Download "Shifting to a Strategy of Innovation: The Key Role of Leadership in Consumer Packaged Goods." This paper, the first in a three-part series, provides some recommendations for companies that are making the transition to dynamic innovation.

Contact us to learn more about our Strategic Thinking & Innovation approach.