Evening view of the Knight Management Center from a balcony


Prepare for the chief product officer role with curriculum that blends strategy, customer empathy, communication, and leadership.

How do you bring customer-focused thinking to product development? How do you develop the right capabilities to deliver value to the customer? How do you influence without authority and motivate cross-functional teams? Innovative Product Leadership: The Emerging Chief Product Officer delivers an academically-rigorous and experiential curriculum to get you thinking and doing.

The program combines classroom lectures taught by world-renowned Stanford GSB faculty and Silicon Valley guest speakers. At the end of each day, you’ll also meet with faculty and peers to “connect the dots” and explore how new learnings can translate into specific action.


Program Highlights

Below are just a few of the sessions you’ll attend as part of the program.

Thinking Inside the Box

Research shows that people deliver more creative solutions when they are assigned a task that includes restrictions compared with a task in which they are given (fully) free reign. It turns out that, with creative tasks, structure helps. This finding also extends to tasks in which people are asked to ideate new products or develop concepts for marketing campaigns. We will discuss an approach to product ideation that introduces five templates or “recipes” that can help you structure your thinking and develop both incremental and disruptive ideas.

Product Strategy and the Strategy of the Firm

We will discuss how the product strategy and firm strategy relationship can be delineated so that both can serve their alignment and coordinated purpose while minimizing frictions.

Customer Experience Design

Applying brain-based insights to Customer Experience Design has become central to strategy in the last few years. We will discuss the reasons behind this development and how businesses can leverage rich customer insights to unearth new business opportunities, develop and sustain distinct competitive advantages, and, in the process, have a direct impact on top-line and bottom-line growth.

Designing and Leading Innovative Teams

Throwing people together and calling them a “team” does not produce a team. Transforming a group of individuals into a high performing team is part of the fabric of leadership. Building on several decades of research, we explore the major challenges of teams who must innovate or solve problems. Teams have three major levers that can enhance a team’s capacity to innovate: team composition, member participation, and influence.

We will use the context of a team task to explore the ways in which team members can get their voice heard. In addition, we will identify actionable strategies for structuring teams to improve members’ ability to hear and incorporate divergent and minority opinions as they face the challenge of innovation.

Power of Story

Research shows that we don’t make decisions based solely on what we know. We make decisions based on what we know and what we feel. In the age of data overwhelm, whoever can craft their message as a story, and capture the emotions of their listener, has an advantage. We will discuss some of the core principles and applicable storytelling techniques that will make all your communications more impactful.


Christine Coli | Associate Director, Programs, Executive Education
Associate Director Executive Education