New Course for Online Certificate Program: Power of Stories

Free June 14 webinar with venture capitalist David Hornik and Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Jennifer Aaker.

June 10, 2013

A great idea alone will not fuel innovation. Big ideas need stories that take listeners on a journey that changes how they think, feel, or act. Stanford University’s new online course, The Power of Stories to Fuel Innovation, will teach participants to understand the role story plays in developing innovation and building a strong global brand. “Stories hold the power to transform listeners,” says Jennifer Aaker, a marketing professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “We will cover the roles a narrative can play, its potential to change a new venture, influence organizational culture, and spur innovation.”

A free webinar to discuss storytelling and its effect on business will be available Friday, June 14, from 9 to 10 am Pacific Time (noon to 1 pm Eastern Time).

During the webinar, Aaker will host a conversation with Silicon Valley venture capitalist David Hornik of August Capital, who has worked with startups throughout the software sector. Some of his previous investments have included Evite, Aardvark, PayCycle, DoneRight, and Tickle. Hornik holds a degree in computer music from Stanford, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MPhil in criminology from Cambridge. Prior to joining August Capital, Hornik was an intellectual property and corporate attorney at Venture Law Group and Perkins Coie where he represented high-tech startups in all aspects of their formation, financing, and operations. He is the author of the Venture Blog, the first venture capital blog, and is executive producer of The Lobby conference, an annual gathering of thought leaders in the digital media ecosystem.

Hornik and Aaker will discuss the role of stories in shaping how others view your brand. In an environment characterized by the 24/7 news cycle and highly connected customers who can communicate their likes and dislikes to millions at the push of a button, organizations are challenged to keep their brands fresh, relevant, and differentiated. Companies must rethink their approach and consider the power of the narrative to build a strong brand.

The Power of Stories to Fuel Innovation is the seventh in a series of classes offered as part of the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Online Certificate Program, which launched in September 2012. Other courses include:

Professionals around the world are able to access Stanford faculty and Silicon Valley experts as they learn essential skills and effective strategies for working in and managing innovative organizations. An engaging digital experience has been developed by the Stanford Center for Professional Development at the School of Engineering and the Graduate School of Business to deliver the course content.

Registration is open for the first seven courses. Tuition is $995 for each course. Additional courses will continue to be introduced throughout 2013.

Participants may enroll in just a single course or earn the professional certificate from Stanford by completing any 8 of 12 courses. Courses are taught by Stanford faculty, drawing on instructors from the Graduate School of Business, the School of Engineering, and the d.school, as well as Silicon Valley industry leaders, using highly interactive and occasionally unconventional methods. The program is led by faculty directors Robert Sutton, a professor of management science and engineering at the School of Engineering, and Hayagreeva Rao, professor of organizational behavior and human resources at Stanford GSB.

Entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as professionals from startups, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit teams, and the public sector, will find the program to be practical and impactful. Given the level of material, participants must be fluent in written and spoken English. Participants will develop the skills to become catalysts for change as they learn how to foster innovation throughout their organizations. Whether this is someone’s first class in innovation or a chance to cultivate a deeper understanding and practice of innovation, participants will learn how to use innovative thinking for personal and professional success.

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