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Leading Innovation


The Course

The five-day Leading Innovation (LI) seminar is designed to provide Navy leaders with both the skill set and the mindset to understand the critical nature of innovation as it relates to organizational success in the Navy. The program focuses on building and sustaining an innovative organization that produces measurable results now and in the future. The LI course delves into best practices of innovation through case studies, small- team exercises, interactive class discussions and in targeted interactions with companies and speakers from the Silicon Valley. Participants will be challenged to broaden their thinking process through exposure to new ideas and thoughtful examination of their own roles as "leaders of innovation" in the Navy.

Program Manager

Professor Neal Thornberry, Ph.D. is the Faculty Director for Innovation Initiatives at the Center for Executive Education at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California

Professor Neal Thornberry, Ph.D. is the Faculty Director for Innovation Initiatives at the Center for Executive Education at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He is also a Professor Emeritus at Babson College in Massachusetts, and is the Founder and CEO of IMSTRAT LLC an Innovation consulting and executive education firm. He is also a visiting lecturer at Duke University, The University of North Carolina, Northwestern, Dartmouth, Ashridge Management College (UK), HEC (France), and Tsinghua University (China) and the Darden School. His current work at NPS involves the design and delivery of the Leading Innovation program for admirals and senior SES officials.This week long course helps Navy executive leaders create both a strategy and an architecture for leading innovation within their respective communities. As part of this course participants are taken on a field trip to Silicon Valley to meet with innovation leaders from the private sector including such companies as Google, VMware, Tesla Motors, Bloom Energy, Linkedin, Splunk, and Cisco. This course also provides a “shark tank” experience where admirals have to present their innovation strategies to a panel of known innovators who provide feedback and coaching to participants to help them further develop and hone their innovation strategies. Read full bio...

The Faculty

Academic experts from the faculty at Naval Postgraduate School are joined by senior executives from both Navy, other governmental agencies, and the private sector to provide participants with a range of perspectives through which course objectives are addressed.

Development Topics

Development topics include:

  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneurial Thinking and Action
  • Opportunity Identification
  • Resource Stewardship
  • Embedding Innovation as a Value

The Objective/Desired End State

A cadre of Navy flag officers, other military leaders, and SES personnel with both the skill set and mindset to understand and apply the critical nature of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to achieve organizational success.

The Location

LI is conducted at the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Executive Education in Monterey, California.

Who Should Attend?

The LI Course is designed for Navy flag officers at the 1- or 2-star level, Marine senior leaders, and SES personnel.

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Quotas are managed by PERS00F Navy Flag Officer Development:

703-604-5750 and 703-604-5738