Strategic Innovation and Leadership


Course Description


In today’s volatile business environment, leaders have to show foresight by identifying changes, trends, and future possibilities for their organizations and markets.  Translating these insights into ways to enhance existing business activities or developing new innovation strategies to stay ahead of the competition is critical to growth and profitability. In Strategic Innovation & Leadership, you’ll learn critical skills enabling you to chart a market-leading and revenue-enhancing course for the future.

You will develop a thorough understanding of the business, economic, and social trends that are impacting your organization and gain new tools to mitigate future risks and exploit opportunities.  Faculty will introduce you to the power of scenario analysis, and how to embed strategic business innovation in your organization.  Analyze and understand how leading edge companies are gaining deeper insights into customer behavior.  Finally, you will learn how to develop innovative approaches to transform your business model and help sustain a competitive edge.


What you’ll learn:


This course is practical and applied.  Ideally you will come with a business challenge or company topic which you need to analyze and develop for the future.  You can do this on an individual basis, or come with colleagues and get the additional benefits of working as a team on a critical topic.

With Strategic Innovation & Leadership, you will —

  • Gain deeper insights and an effective understanding of customer behavior, demands, and preferences/expectations in your market
  • Build a framework for analyzing future industry trends and exploiting their consequences
  • Understand how to design contingency plans through innovation for an uncertain future
  • Identify business renewal strategies that will help transform your business and its underlying business model (market trend analysis)
  • Learn the three principles to follow when assessing innovative ideas and opportunities
  • Craft a value proposition to grow profits through innovation
  • Understand innovation as a strategic leadership position, and how to release its full potential


Who should attend?


This program is designed for leaders who need to make strong decisions amidst uncertainty and change, especially about the future direction of their organizations. It will benefit those who seek to better understand the choices and opportunities created through innovation.

This course is designed for entrepreneurs, “intrapreneurs”, managers, small business owners, and executives responsible for strategic planning, developing and driving business models through innovation, and delighting customers.


Course outline


Day 1:

  • Introduction:  What does it mean to say are we living in a VUCA world?
    • ‘How to manage in a VUCA world ’:  learning from innovators and corporate entrepreneurs.
  • Understanding customers
    • The real issue is ‘getting inside the customer’s mind’: What job does the customer want done?
  • Trend analysis
    • Strategies to go beyond current issues and address forward thinking and contingency planning.
  • Scenario analysis
    • Overcoming the limits to prediction, addressing what might happen through scenario analysis.
  • Business Renewal
    • Providing a firm basis for innovative business ideas, new business models and business strategy.
  • Assessing alternatives – the entrepreneur’s approach
    • Use the entrepreneurs’ approach to assess alternatives and determine the most effective plans.


Day 2:

  • Working on a case study
    • Participants can work on a common case study, an individual choice, or, if you are in a group from one organization, a team can work on a company business area/challenge.
  • Case Study Step 1: Organizing the information
    • Summarizing what is known
    • Identifying incomplete data
    • Reviewing key trends and scenarios
  • Case Study Step 2:  Developing initial ideas
    • Selectively examining future possibilities
    • Developing some alternative strategies
    • Identifying radical and incremental innovations
  • Case Study Step 3: Reviewing alternatives and choosing the best
    • Testing the alternatives
    • Choosing a new business approach
    • Preparing presentations
  • Case study Step 4: Presentations and feedback
    • Attendee presentations on proposals and final feedback
    • Final review and discussion of key points learnt


Program Faculty


Peter Sheldrake

Peter Sheldrake is currently based in the USA. He is an adjunct at Wake Forest University, where he teaches innovation and commercialization.  Until recently he was an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University, in Melbourne, Australia, where he had been Professor of Business Entrepreneurship for 14 years, prior to retiring in 2011.  In that role he was responsible for developing research and teaching in innovation and entrepreneurship, global business, and business strategy and leadership.

Peter Sheldrake had the opportunity to work in a variety of areas.  He commenced his working life as an academic, first as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Cambridge, then Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, and finally an Associate Professor at the Flinders University of South Australia.  After ten years he joined the Shell Company of Australia as Senior Development Adviser, before being recruited to the Commonwealth Government’s Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs.  He worked there for 6 years, eventually as Director.  He then ran his own consultancy company before being appointed CEO of the Australian Institute of Management in 1988, where he stayed for just over nine years, before returning to the academic world and joining RMIT.

He developed and conducted executive education courses and undertaken consulting assignments with companies and small businesses and not-for-profits in the USA, Australia and South East Asia, as well as teaching university postgraduate courses.  His areas of interest included innovation and entrepreneurship (especially intrapreneurship and corporate venturing), global business, leadership, strategy, scenario analysis, working with arts organisations and introducing senior executives to philosophy.  Current consulting and development activity includes working with companies in the IT, pharmaceutical, hospitality and finance industries.

Peter Sheldrake has a BA, MA and MSc, from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from RMIT.  He has written over 100 articles, and co-authored five books: Looking at Innovation, Medical Education in Australia, Design for Adversity, Accountability in Higher Education, and Inclusive leadership.  He is the sole author of four books: Ronin and Revolutionaries,  The Ronin Age, How Shall I Live?, and in 2014, Elephants on Roller Skates.  He has recently started writing murder mysteries.

He has served on boards in the private, government and not-for-profit sectors for more than thirty years.  He is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.  He is a director of Urban Forum, a Malaysian company running various programs in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Thailand, Indonesia, India and the Middle East.

An Australian, Peter Sheldrake was born in the UK, and lived with his wife in Winston Salem NC.  They have six adult children, all currently living in Australia.


Program Dates


Upcoming dates to be announced soon.

Classes begin promptly at 8:30 each morning and will wrap-up no later than 5:00.


Meeting Location


Wake Forest Innovation Quarter
Biotech Place
575 N. Patterson Ave.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Location and parking




The cost of the program is $1,950 and includes materials, continental breakfast and lunch both days, and is due in full at time of registration. Wake Forest University alumni, faculty, and staff receive a 10% tuition discount.  Please contact Holly Stearne,, for more details.


Program Materials


Course materials are included in the cost of tuition. Course materials will be distributed electronically in advance of the program start date. Participants must have a laptop or tablet computer to access course materials.


Registration and Payment Form


This is an open enrollment program. Application is not required. Course registration is complete when payment is processed. Upon registration, a representative of Wake Forest will contact you to validate the registration information and to assist in fee payment. Please click the link below to begin the registration process.


Register Now



Cancellation of Program


This course is offered contingent upon sufficient enrollment. If a course must be cancelled, all registered participants will be notified at least five (5) calendar days before the course’s start date. All registered participants will receive a 100% tuition refund. No fees will be charged for cancelled courses.


Refund Policy


Prospective participants who withdraw at least 5 days prior to the start of a course will receive a full refund of tuition paid.


For More Information


For more information or to speak with a program adviser, please send an email to Holly Stearne, or call 336-758-4258