The Innovation Course introduces participants to the fundamentals of designing and developing innovative products.

The Innovation Course is lecture-, case-, presentation- and discussion-based and runs on Learning Teams. Using 10 HBS case studies, Case Analysis Memos are written and submitted by teams before each Learning Session.

Each week one team presents their case analysis memo and manages a lively Q&A session which is gently guided and enhanced by the instructor to ensure learning outcomes are maximized.

In accordance with best practices, After Action Reports are written and submitted by teams following the conclusion of the Q&A to further enhance learning.


“Innovation is the process of translating an idea or invention into a product, service, or experience (PSE) that creates value and/or for which customers will pay.”


The Course is divided into three modules:

01. Disruptive Innovation

02. Design & Innovation

03. Managing Innovation

Key topics encountered within these modules include disruptive innovation; building and managing innovation systems; discovery-driven planning & systematizing innovation for learning & implementation; design thinking and innovation management; design driven innovation; customers as innovators; globalization of innovation; and business innovation in large organizations.


Key Takeaway: Don’t be disrupted; be a disruptor!


The learning goal of this Course is to learn about the fundamentals of designing and developing innovative products.


The learning objectives for this Course include developing the following skills: Critical Thinking, Communication, Team Work, Leadership, and Ethical Reasoning.


Did you know that there is a growing design and innovation strategy consulting industry?

Examples of firms that specialize in design and innovation strategy consulting include the following:

Why study Innovation?

Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and Innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.

– Peter Drucker


In addition to learning about the fundamentals of designing and developing innovative products while expanding their professional network, participants who successfully complete the course can anticipate the following benefits:

  • a more global perspective on innovation;
  • improved leadership skills;
  • better problem solving and critical thinking skills;
  • improved writing and presenting skills;
  • enhanced ability to work collaboratively in teams; and
  • an ability to consider the ethical implications of your decisions and recommendations.

Additionally, participants who successfully complete the course will receive a digital Certificate of Completion issued by MDI.TOKYO through Accredible.

What is 'Strategic Innovation'?

By breaking the rules of the game and thinking of new ways to compete, a company can strategically redefine its business and catch its bigger competitors off guard. The trick is not to play the game better than the competition, but to develop and play an altogether different game.

– Constantinos Markides


MDI.TOKYO’s fundamental Strategic Innovation is to shift the premise of business education from “something you get as an individual from your Professor(s)” to “something you do with fellow Learners.” With an emphasis on quality, we are making learning social, transformative, and fun.

The slides below describe the Course Goal, Objectives, and How the Objectives are Met in various levels of detail and from various perspectives. The key thing to remember is this Course employs a Participant-Centered, Active-Learning Design, and everyone has a role to play!

Time Commitments for Maximum Learning:
• Average Individual Reading & Preparation Time Before a Learning Session: 2 – 3 hours
• Average Team Preparation Time Before a Learning Session: 2 – 4 hours
• Average Learning Session Time: 90 – 120 minutes
• Average Post-Learning Session AAR Reflection Time: 30 – 60 minutes

Why have Japanese consumer electronics companies struggled to innovate for the last 20 years?

Digitilization — it’s quite different from [the] analog world. And with modularization, you can buy products in modules and put them together very quickly. And [with] all of these combined, it makes consumer products — our consumer products — a commodity. Everyone can make them: product differentiation is difficult. Then even small startup companies can catch up very quickly by outsourcing many [components].

-Yukio SHOHTOKU, Panasonic Corporation, Retired Executive Vice President;

Matsushita (Panasonic) International University, Dean


If you are a professional who is passionate about learning and you want to leverage knowledge about Innovation to advance in your career and/or in your ability to contribute to your organization and society, then you should apply for admission to this Course.


(Weekly Format)

Innovation is one of our Saturday Business School courses.

Ten Learning Sessions are offered on Saturdays in a weekly format beginning in April.


We currently offer one track as described below:


OPEN ENROLLMENT is a track (time slot) and cohort (batch of learners) to which anyone can apply using our rapid application form. MDI.TOKYO then evaluates the applications and extends offers of admission based to applicants who best meet our criteria for success.

In principle, OPEN ENROLLMENT Innovation tracks are offered on Saturdays at the following time(s):

Innovation Course (OPEN ENROLLMENT TRACK): 10:00-12:00

In principle, this course track meets on Saturday mornings in the April – June period.  It is Open Enrollment. Please use the application form to request a seat in the program.

  • Minimum number of Participants is 15.
  • Maximum number of Participants is 45.
  • Program starts in April.



Application Period
Oct. 1 – Jan. 31

Application Deadline:
January 31st

Offers of Admission:
Made in February.

Course Start:

Course End:


  • Seats are limited, so please apply early.
  • If seats remain available after the application deadline, applications will still be accepted between February 1 until February 28, or until the final remaining seat is filled (whichever comes first).
  • There are two ways to apply:
    • As an Individual → use our Application Form to apply to our Open Enrollment Track; or
    • As a member of a Learning Team → use our Application Form to apply to our Open Enrollment Track and indicate your Learning Team name in the relevant section of the Application Form.
  • Applications are available online and take between 45 minutes and 1 hour to complete.
    • No transcripts required.
    • No standardized test scores required.
    • No letters of recommendation required.
Follow the Innovation Course on LinkedIn.


  • The fee for the course is 300,000 JPY (+8% tax) per Participant.
  • The fee includes tuition, access to a Learning Management System that supports the Course, and all required reading materials which are mostly supplied digitally, usually as PDFs.
  • Applicants who are accepted into a Course will receive an invoice issued via email when they are notified of their acceptance.
  • Payment can be made via bank transfer or via credit card online.


Is this Course taught in English or in Japanese?

  • Reading materials are provided in English.
  • Learning Sessions are conducted in English.
    • Learning Teams can work in English and/or Japanese before and after Learning Sessions, but the working language of the Learning Session is English.
  • Case Analysis Memos and Presentations should be submitted in English.
  • The Instructor uses English to conduct the Course, but she/he can read and speak Japanese proficiently.

How long is this Course?

  • This Course has 10 Learning Sessions. Typically the Course meets once per week. It begins in April and ends in June.

Is this an MBA-level Course?

  • This Course is adapted from a 15-session, MBA-level course. Each session was 90 minutes.
    • Six previous versions of this Course taught by this instructor have been successfully completed by professionals with various levels of academic preparation and English ability from Japan and around the world.

How much time do I need to dedicate to this Course each week?

Individual time requirements will vary, but here are some average times based on previous experience:

  • Average Individual Reading & Preparation Time Before a Learning Session: 2-3 hours
  • Average Team Preparation Time Before a Learning Session: 2-4 hours
  • Average Learning Session Time: 90 – 120 minutes

What is the required number of Participants?

  • Each Learning Team should have 5 participants.
  • Each Course Section Cohort needs a minimum of 15 participants.
  • Each Course Section Cohort can have a maximum of 45 participants distributed across 9 teams. Additionally, in some cases additional individuals or teams with Auditor status may also be admitted.

Do Participants have to pay for the readings separately?

  • No, the readings are included as part of the tuition fee. The majority of the readings come from the digital repository at Harvard Business School Publishing so they will be made available to the Participants online.

Is there a dress code for Participants?

  • We think business or business casual works well. Learners learn more – and often earn more – when they are dressed for success!

What do I receive if I successfully complete the Course?

  • If you successfully complete the Course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion issued by MDI.TOKYO through Accredible.

Do Participants have access to a Learning Management System (LMS)?

  • Yes, this course makes use of CANVAS by Instructure. Participants have access to the LMS during the Course.

What are the technology requirements to participate in this Course?

  • PC, web browser, and internet connection.
  • Document software such as MS Word or Google Docs.
  • Presentation software such as MS Powerpoint or Google Slides.
  • Other?

When is the Application Deadline?

  • The application period begins on October 1st and ends on January 31st.
  • If seats remain available after the application deadline, applications will still be accepted between February 1 until February 28 or until the final remaining seat is filled (whichever comes first).
  • Please apply as early as possible.

Can 5 of us apply together as a Learning Team?

  • Yes, but each person needs to submit an application individually.

Can I/we apply to more than one Course using the same application form?

  • Yes, you can apply to one, two, or all three of our Courses simply by indicating which courses you want to take when completing the Application form.
  • If you are applying as a Learning Team, each person needs to submit an application individually.

How often is this Course offered?

  • In principle this Course is offered every year in the April – June period.

Will the Instructor write a letter of recommendation in support of my application to graduate school?

  • MDI.TOKYO is happy to provide a letter of recommendation for everyone who successfully completes the Course.
  • In principle, we will write up to 3 letters for an Alumnna/Alumnus of MDI.TOKYO Programs and Courses.
  • After the 3rd letter, we assess a nominal fee for each additional letter.

Are you ready to begin your learning journey?