Teaching

Course Syllabus

Contact

Tel: 603-646-2156
vg@dartmouth.edu

Course Syllabus: Part I – Syllabus Recommendations

We start with an outline for a course we are developing, “Managing Innovation,” an 18-session course.

Module 1: Creativity is not enough

Recommended Length: Three Sessions

Upon completing this module of the course, students should understand some basic managerial techniques for enhancing creativity and idea generation. But they should also understand that ideas are not enough. Ideas must be converted to real new business operations.

The latter is a difficult managerial challenge which is the focus of the remainder of the course. In this module, a framework for managing strategic innovation (as opposed to process or product innovation) is introduced — the forget, borrow, learn framework — which will be developed further through the next three modules. At the end of this module, students should be able to explain the nature of each challenge and describe in general terms the approaches that general managers must take to overcome them.

Suggested Reading Materials

  1. Teresa Amabile, “How to Kill Creativity,” Harvard Business Review, September 1998 (#98501).
  2. Andrew Hargadon and Robert Sutton, “Building an Innovation Factory,” Harvard Business Review, May 2000 (#R00304).
  3. Ten Rules, through Chapter 1.
  4. Govindarajan and Trimble, “Building Breakthrough Businesses Within Established Organizations,” Harvard Business Review, May 2005 (#R0505C).
  5. Govindarajan and Trimble, Fast Company columns (Included in Appendix)
    • Forget, Borrow, Learn
    • When the Curve has Passed You By
    • A Challenge of Olympic Proportions
    • Strategy, Execution, and Innovation
    • Ideas are Not Enough
    • From Idea to Execution
    • To Build Up Innovation, Break Down Your Networks
    • What’s So Good About Business?
    • Our Wish for 2005

Case Studies

3M Corporation — Tuck Case, available for download at:
http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/cgl/research/case_studies.html

The case traces gives an overview of the companies policies, with a focus on the way they have nurtured creativity and entrepreneurship. We generally discuss this simple case example for about 45 minutes, along with a lecture on creativity. (Contact Beth Perkins, beth.perkins@tuck.dartmouth.edu, for the teaching notes we have available for this case. Contact Linda Harston, linda.harston@tuck.dartmouth.edu for permissions to reproduce for classroom use.)

Universitas 21 Global — Tuck Case, available for download at:
http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/cgl/research/case_studies.html
Detailed Notes Available in Part II of this resource pack.

This case study details how Thomson Learning launched a new online MBA program in Asia. (Students love this case – it is about them and their MBA experience.) The case study was written at approximately the time of the launch of the new business — too soon to understand the outcomes of the organizational choices that the company made in setting up the business. This makes the case suitable for an introductory discussion. The concepts of forgetting, borrowing, and learning can be covered, and the class can speculate on whether or not the company has made choices that will enable the new venture to overcome these challenges. The instructional goal should not be that the students draw correct conclusions, but that they make clear arguments using the concepts of forgetting, borrowing, and learning. We generally discuss this case for about 45 minutes, following a lecture of similar length covering the concepts of forgetting, borrowing, and learning.

Joline Godfrey and the Polaroid Corporation (HBS Case #9-492-037)
Detailed Notes Available in Part II of this resource pack.

Though the case was written for a different purpose, we use this case to illustrate the alternative to the approach we outline in Ten Rules. You might call this alternative the “lone cowboy” approach to building breakthrough businesses. There is a pervasive myth that talented and impassioned leaders with great ideas can produce breakthrough growth. This case illustrates that even with high level sponsorship, this is a very challenging path indeed. This case also illustrates difficulty in overcoming the forgetting, borrowing, and learning challenges. We argue that no individual, no matter how talented, can succeed unless the senior management team implements an organizational design that enables forgetting, borrowing, and learning.

Module 2: Forgetting

Recommended Length: Two Sessions

Upon completion of this module, students should understand why forgetting is difficult, and how to forget. Even when the new business within the established organization (NewCo) is full of managers that have complete clarity on the differences between their business model and that of the core business (CoreCo), the behaviors of the core business can and do still persist. That is because there are so many reinforcers of CoreCo behavior. These can only be overcome by using organizational levers powerful enough to change behavior – levers such as policies for hiring, promotion, and planning; levers such as definitions of roles and responsibilities, reporting structure, and relationships between functions; levers such as methods for evaluating business performance, rewarding individual performance and reinforcing core values.

Suggested Reading Materials:

  • Ten Rules, Chapters 2 and 3
  • Govindarajan and Trimble, “Organizational DNA for Strategic Innovation,” California Management Review, Spring 2005 (#CMR310). (This is a lengthy article, and it may be best to assign the first half of the article, on forgetting, now, and the second half in Module 3.)
  • Govindarajan and Trimble, Fast Company columns (Included in Appendix.)
    • Amnesia by Design
    • Is Innovation in Your Organizational DNA
    • A Source of Pride

Case Studies

Note: The case studies in Modules 2, 3, and 4 can provide a basis for discussion of all three challenges – forgetting, borrowing, and learning. We have placed them in the module where they have the greatest relevance, but we advise touching on all three areas in each discussion.

Corning Microarray Technologies — Tuck Case, available for download at:
http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/cgl/research/case_studies.html
Detailed Notes Available in Part II of this resource pack.

In the late 1990s, the biotechnology market is booming. Researchers are unlocking the secrets of DNA, with promises of new revolutions in medicine. They’d like to plow through the millions of experiments a lot more quickly, however, and that requires specialized equipment and computers. One seemingly simple but difficult-to-manufacture piece of experimental apparatus is the DNA Microarray simply a glass slide with dozens of samples of DNA adhered to it. There is no product on the market that fully satisfies researchers. Enter Corning, a company with decades of experience in high-tech glass manufacture. Will this legacy help, or get in the way?

Note: This case is re-told, in shorter form, with analysis, in Chapters 2 and 3 of Ten Rules. However, the book is a rather narrow retelling, focused on only those portions of the case that are supportive of a few key lessons related to forgetting. We believe that Chapters 2 and 3 are best assigned after the case discussion, to help students reinforce key points. Some students may read the chapter in advance, and thus will have a partial “answer” to the case. However, there will still be plenty of richness in the subsequent classroom discussion.

Hewlett Packard: The Flight of the Kitty Hawk (A and B) (HBS Case #9-697-060)

This case details the challenges faced by a new venture within Hewlett Packard’s Disk Memory Division. After developing a tiny disk drive with unique features, the venture struggles to generate revenue growth. There are numerous ways in which the mindsets and behaviors of CoreCo are imported into the new venture. Because this case also offers insights into the learning challenge, it might also be used as a capstone case in Module 7.

Module 3: Borrowing

Recommended Length: Two Sessions

Upon completion of this module, students should understand why it takes much more than simply drawing a line on the organizational chart to ensure that NewCo can derive some benefit from access to valuable CoreCo resources. NewCo should only attempt to borrow the one or two assets that matter most, because borrowing is difficult and demands attention from the senior management team. Tensions between NewCo and CoreCo are inevitable, and they must be anticipated.

Suggested Reading Materials:

  • Ten Rules, Chapters 4 and 5
  • Govindarajan and Trimble, "Organizational DNA for Strategic Innovation," California Management Review, Spring 2005 (#CMR310).
  • Govindarajan and Trimble, Fast Company columns (Included in Appendix)
    • Borrow — In Moderation
    • Innovation and the Inevitable Break-the-Rules Backlash
    • When Cultures Collide

Case Studies

Note: The case studies in Modules 2, 3, and 4 can provide a basis for discussion of all three challenges – forgetting, borrowing, and learning. We have placed them in the module where they have the greatest relevance, but we advise at least touching on all three areas in each discussion.

New York Times Digital — Tuck Case, available for download at:
http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/cgl/research/case_studies.html
Detailed Notes Available in Part II of this resource pack.

How does a 150-year-old company, rich in tradition, respond to a new technology (the internet) that threatens to make its business, a printed newspaper, obsolete? This case covers the first 7 years in the history of New York Times Digital (NYTD), the on-line business unit of the New York Times Company. This history can be divided into three phases – a first in which it struggled to forget, a second in which it succeeded in forgetting but struggled to borrow, and a third in which it succeeded at both. As such, the case might be covered equally well in either the forgetting or borrowing modules.

Note: This case is re-told, in shorter form, with analysis, in Chapters 4 and 5 of Ten Rules. However, the book is a rather narrow retelling, focused on only those portions of the case that are supportive of a few key lessons related to borrowing. We believe that Chapters 4 and 5 are best assigned after the case discussion, to help students reinforce key points. Some students may read the chapter in advance, and thus will have a partial “answer” to the case. However, there will still be plenty of richness in the subsequent classroom discussion.

OnStar: Not Your Father’s General Motors (A and B) (Harvard Business School Cases 9-602-081 and 9-602-082)
Detailed Notes Available in Part II of this resource pack.

These cases detail several years of early history of the development of OnStar, General Motor’s in-vehicle information, telecommunications, and safety systems. The case is rich in supporting discussion of all three challenges. It is very helpful in illustrating the dangers of borrowing too much — especially the dangers of borrowing support functions. Doing so seems like an obvious way to save money for NewCo, but it is hard to do so without importing undesirable elements of NewCo’s DNA to CoreCo. There are also many insights into forgetting and learning in this case. As such, an alternative is to teach this case as a capstone case, as part of Module 7.

Module 4: Learning

Recommended Length: Two Sessions

Upon the conclusion of this module, students should understand why planning and learning are so closely related, how the scientific method resembles the planning process, and why so many habits that generally are reflective of good management practice are poison for NewCo as it attempts to learn from its own experience. Students should also understand a few elements of theory focused planning, a new approach to planning described in Chapter 9 of Ten Rules.

Suggested Reading Materials:

  • Ten Rules, Chapters 6-9
  • Govindarajan and Trimble, “Strategic Innovation and the Science of Learning,” MIT Sloan Management Review, Winter 2004 (#SMR128).
  • Govindarajan and Trimble, Fast Company columns (Available in Appendix)
    • Experimentation is Easy, Learning is Not
    • Shooting for the Moon
    • Planning Not to Learn
    • By the Numbers: You Can’t Quantify Learning
    • The Monster in the Closet: Reliable Unpredictability

Case Studies

Note: The case studies in Modules 2, 3, and 4 can provide a basis for discussion of all three challenges – forgetting, borrowing, and learning. We have placed them in the module where they have the greatest relevance, but we advise at least touching on all three areas in each discussion.

Hasbro Interactive — Tuck Case, available for download at:
http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/cgl/research/case_studies.html
Detailed Notes Available in Part II of this resource pack.

In the mid 1990s, it appeared that the future of gaming was the personal computer. Traditional board games were about to slowly fade away. Such was the justification when Hasbro launched Hasbro Interactive in 1995. A wild ride ensued, tremendous successes and unexpected surprises. Hasbro did a lot right. They succeeded in forgetting and borrowing, but they struggled to draw the right lessons at the right time as the business proceeded. This case is an excellent illustration of why companies struggle to learn.

Note: This case is re-told, in shorter form, with analysis, in Chapter 7 of Ten Rules. However, the book is a rather narrow retelling, focused on only those portions of the case that are supportive of a few key lessons related to learning. We believe that Chapter 7 is best assigned after the case discussion, to help students reinforce key points. Some students may read the chapter in advance, and thus will have a partial “answer” to the case. However, there will still be plenty of richness in the subsequent classroom discussion.

Capston-White Document Management and Production Services — Tuck Case, available for download at:
http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/cgl/research/case_studies.html
Detailed Notes Available in Part II of this resource pack.

Where does a company that has always sold products that ship in boxes look for growth after it has exploited every possible feature enhancement? Services. But it is challenging indeed for a product company to make the migration, especially to a services industry that is still in its infancy and fraught with uncertainties. This case is excellent in demonstrating how new ventures can get caught up in the crosswinds of major corporate changes, such as leadership changes, organizational changes, and major mergers. Capston-White experienced all three, and each affected the new ventures ability to forget, borrow, and learn.

Note: This case is re-told, in shorter form, with analysis, in Chapter 8 of Ten Rules. However, the book is a rather narrow retelling, focused on only those portions of the case that are supportive of a few key lessons related to learning. We believe that Chapter 8 is best assigned after the case discussion, to help students reinforce key points. Some students may read the chapter in advance, and thus will have a partial “answer” to the case. However, there will still be plenty of richness in the subsequent classroom discussion.

Module 5: Process Innovation

The nature of the innovation management challenge varies greatly depending on the type of innovation. The course continues with discussion of two additional categories of innovation – process and product innovation.
Recommended Length: Four Sessions

Process innovation is a crucial source of competitive advantage in many industries. As these four case studies illustrate, process innovation can take the form of widespread continuous process improvement efforts that leverage the inputs and energies of front-line employees, or they can take the form of massive investments in cutting-edge equipment.

Suggested Reading Materials:

  • Michael Hammer, “The Superefficient Company,” Harvard Business Review, September 2001 (#R0108E).
  • Thomas Davenport, “Re-engineering A Business Process,” Harvard Business School Note #9-396-054, November, 1995.
  • Steven Spear and H. Kent Bowen, “Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System,” Harvard Business Review, September, 1999 (#99509).

Case Studies

Nucor Steel (A) — Tuck Case, available for download at:
http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/cgl/research/case_studies.html

Nucor Steel revolutionized the steel industry through a series of major process innovations. This case describes the organizational policies and practices that made this revolution possible. (Contact beth.perkins@tuck.dartmouth.edu for the teaching notes we have available for this case.)

Cisco Systems (A, B), with Technology Note on Internetworking Products — Tuck Case, available for download at: http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/cgl/research/case_studies.html

Cisco’s rapid growth in the late 1990s was fueled in great part by its efforts to implement leading edge e-business practices throughout its supply chain. This case describes a number of unique organizational practices that helped fuel widespread internal e-business innovation. It also concludes with some observations by Cisco executives regarding types of innovation that the company was not excelling at. (Contact Beth Perkins, beth.perkins@tuck.dartmouth.edu for the teaching notes we have available for this case. Contact Linda Harston, linda.harston@tuck.dartmouth.edu for permissions to reproduce for classroom use.)

Stora Enso North America — Tuck Case, available for download at:
http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/cgl/research/case_studies.html

This case describes this paper company’s efforts to become a driving force in an effort in re-engineering the entire paper supply chain. The particular challenges of driving innovation across organizational boundaries comes to the forefront. (Contact Beth Perkins, beth.perkins@tuck.dartmouth.edu for the teaching notes we have available for this case. Contact Linda Harston, linda.harston@tuck.dartmouth.edu for permissions to reproduce for classroom use.)

Toyota Motor Manufacturing USA (Harvard Business School Case #9-693-019)

Toyota’s manufacturing system is world-renowned. But what lies at the core of that system? A community of scientists, it turns out, each running sensible experiments that advance processes to the next level of effectiveness.

Module 6: Product Innovation

Recommended Length: Three Sessions

Product innovation is crucial for companies to stay ahead in their established markets. The practices for managing product innovation differ from process innovation because they are more cross functional. Product innovation is a general manager’s challenge. At the end of this module, students should understand the most common pitfalls associated with developing and commercializing new products.

Suggested Reading Materials:

  • Stephen C. Wheelwright and Edward Smith, “The New Product Development Imperative”, Harvard Business School Note, #9-699-152.
  • Anthony Ulwick, “Turn Customer Input into Innovation,” Harvard Business Review, Jan 1, 2002 (#R0201H).
  • Paul S. Adler et al, “Getting the Most Out of your Product Development Process,” Harvard Business Review, March 1996 (#96202).

Case Studies

We’ve Got Rhythm! Medtronic Corporation’s Cardiac Pacemaker Business (Harvard Business School Case #9-698-004).

This case demonstrates several principles for new product development, and specifically how this medical devices company developed an effective process to focus the efforts of its management team, provide useful input from customers, and minimize time to market.

Hospital Equipment Corporation (Harvard Business School Case #9-697-086)

This case is particularly useful for helping students understand what organizations can and cannot do, and how to build new structures for innovation that enable a company to escape its existing modes of operation. An intriguing point of discussion is how the forgetting challenge is similar and different in the product innovation context.

Cultivating Capabilities to Innovate – Booz Allen & Hamilton (Harvard Business School Case #9-698-027)

This services industry example is a good complement to the other two product cases, and illustrates the techniques that a leading consulting firm used to share knowledge as a way of spurring new service development.

Module 7: Capstone Cases

Recommended Length – Two Sessions

These cases might be used in one or two concluding sessions, to reinforce the demands of the forgetting, borrowing, and learning challenges.

Suggested Reading Materials:

  • Ten Rules, Chapter 10

Analog Devices Incorporated: Microelectromechanical Systems — Tuck Case, available for download at:
http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/cgl/research/case_studies.html
Detailed Notes Available in Part II of this resource pack.

You may not realize it, but you probably own a microelectromechanical system. You have one in your car. The first application for these semiconductor chips with embedded microscopic moving parts was in crash sensors — which deploy your airbags in the event of a crash. ADI was a pioneer in developing this technology. The new venture came close to death at several crisis points, but survived to reach profitability and continued growth. An intriguing case that is effective for a capstone discussion. This case can also be used in Module 1 to introduce the forgetting, borrowing, and learning challenges.

Note: This case is re-told, in shorter form, with analysis, in Chapter 10 of Ten Rules. However, the book is a rather narrow retelling, focused on only those portions of the case that are supportive of a few key lessons. We believe that Chapter 10 is best assigned after the case discussion, to help students reinforce key points. Some students may read the chapter in advance, and thus will have a partial “answer” to the case. However, there will still be plenty of richness in the subsequent classroom discussion.

Lucent Technologies New Ventures Group (Harvard Business School Case # 9-300-085)

This case details one company’s efforts to make strategic innovation a routine phenomenon.

Alternative Selections for Courses of Different Lengths

For details about cases and readings, see full syllabus above.

  1. Nine session course on Entrepreneurship Within Established Organizations
    • See full syllabus in Part II of this resource pack.
  2. Two session module in a strategy, strategy implementation, entrepreneurship, or general management course, or for a single day in executive education:
    • Session 1: Assign HBR article and New York Times Digital Case
    • Session 2: Hasbro Interactive Case
  3. Four session module in similar course:
    • Session 1: Assign through Chapter 1 of Ten Rules and Universitas 21 Global Case
    • Session 2: Chapter 2-3 and Corning Microarray Technologies Case
    • Session 3: Chapters 4-5 and New York Times Digital Case
    • Session 4: Assign Chapters 6, 7, and 9 and Hasbro Interactive Case

  4. Six session module in similar course:
    • Session 1: Assign through Chapter 1 of Ten Rules and Universitas 21 Global Case
    • Session 2: Chapters 2-3 and Corning Microarray Technologies Case
    • Session 3: Chapters 4-5 and New York Times Digital Case
    • Session 4: Chapters 6-7 and Hasbro Interactive Case
    • Session 5: Chapters 8-9 and Capston White Document Management and Production Services Case
    • Session 6: Chapter 10 and Analog Devices Incorporated: Microelectromechanical Systems Case