Learn. Engage. Accelerate. Disrupt.
You pioneer new ways of thinking. You challenge the status quo. You seek out knowledge beyond traditional methods. At Stanford Graduate School of Business, we do the same. We have redefined the boundaries of learning to create an online experience with the academic rigor, world-class faculty, and innovative frameworks for which Stanford GSB is renowned.

Our approach gives you the freedom to master new skills in an interactive and flexible online format. It lets you engage with a highly-selective peer group to inspire innovation and explore fresh ideas. And it allows you to experiment with new learnings to address your specific business challenges.

The result: deeper learning and a longer-lasting impact on you and your organization. And, a prestigious Stanford GSB Certificate to demonstrate your leadership in driving positive change.

Spring Program Dates: March 8, 2016
Application Deadline: February 8, 2016

Fall Program Dates: September 20, 2016
Application will be available February 2016

Program Tuition: $16,000 USD
Program Format: Online


Which innovative ideas will deliver the greatest impact? How do you overcome organizational barriers to change? What will it take to move from idea to implementation? The Stanford LEAD Certificate: Corporate Innovation gives you the strategic business tools and techniques to accelerate change and transformation in your organization.

The Stanford LEAD Certificate is an 8-course commitment: a comprehensive, in-depth experience combining 3 foundation courses and 5 individually-selected electives, designed to be completed over the course of a year. You’ll start with the key business fundamentals: finance, strategy, and critical thinking. Then, you’ll deepen your knowledge with the electives you find most relevant, selecting from options such as design thinking and the innovation process, building business models, and overcoming resistance to change.

Through a combination of self-paced video lectures, individual assessments, team-based projects, class-wide discussions, and ongoing peer and faculty feedback, you’ll learn how to drive innovation from within. Exchange ideas and collaborate on projects with small teams of like-minded, like-motivated peers. And engage with world-renowned Stanford GSB faculty, Silicon Valley leaders, coaches, thought leaders, and luminaries through regular live events, discussions, and facilitated feedback.

Peter DeMarzo

Peter DeMarzo is the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Faculty Director for Educational Technology. His research is in the area of corporate finance, asset securitization, and contracting, as well as market structure and regulation. Recent work has examined issues of the optimal design of securities, the regulation of insider trading and broker-dealers, and the influence of information asymmetries on corporate investment.

Jennifer Lynn Aaker

General Atlantic Professor of Marketing

A social psychologist and marketer, Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Her research spans time, money and happiness. She is widely published in the leading scholarly journals in psychology and marketing, and her work has been featured in a variety of media including The Economist, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, BusinessWeek, Forbes, CBS Money Watch, NPR, Science, Inc, and Cosmopolitan.

William P. Barnett

Thomas M. Siebel Professor of Business Leadership, Strategy, and Organizations, Stanford Graduate School of Business; and Affiliated Faculty, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, focuses on competition within and among corporations and how competition affects the founding, growth, performance, survival, and innovativeness of organizations.

Hau L. Lee

Dan Klein teaches Improvisation full time at Stanford University where he is on the faculty of the Drama Department and the Graduate School of Business and teaches at the In 2009, Dan was named Stanford Teacher of the Year by the Student’s Association.

Haim Mendelson

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Professor of Electronic Business and Commerce, and Management; Co-director of the Value Chain Innovation Initiative

Haim Mendelson leads the School's efforts in studying electronic business and its interaction with organizations and markets, and incorporating their implications into the School's curriculum and research. His research interests include electronic commerce, organizational IQ, product and service pricing and customization, and electronic markets. He has introduced the "Organizational IQ" concept which quantifies an organization's ability to use information to make quick and effective decisions. His papers have been published in leading journals in the areas of information systems, management science, finance, economics, and statistics.

Margaret A. Neale

The Adams Distinguished Professor of Management at Stanford Graduate School of Business, is known worldwide for her research into distributed team and learning environments. Her research interests include decision making, distributed collaboration, team-based learning, negotiation, and team performance. She is coauthor of Negotiating Rationally (Free Press, 1992). She is the Director of the Influence and Negotiation Strategies Executive Program, Director of the Managing Teams for Innovation and Success Executive Program and Codirector of the Executive Program for Women Leaders.

Hau L. Lee

Jeffrey Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University where he has taught since 1979. 

Hayagreeva Rao

Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources; Professor of Sociology (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences; Academic Director, Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate; Director of the Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage Executive Program; Codirector of the Customer-Focused Innovation Executive Program

Hayagreeva Rao has published widely in the fields of management and sociology and studies the social and cultural causes of organizational change. In his research, he studies three sub-processes of organizational change: a) creation of new social structures, b) the transformation of existing social structures, and c) the dissolution of existing social structures. His recent work investigates the role of social movements as motors of organizational change in professional and organizational fields.

J.D. Schramm

MBA Class of 1978 Lecturer in Organizational Behavior

Baba Shiv

Sanwa Bank, Limited, Professor of Marketing; Director of the Strategic Marketing Management Executive Program

Baba Shiv's research is in the area of neuroeconomics. His research has predominantly focused on the role of the brain's liking and wanting systems in shaping decisions, consumption experiences, and the memories of these experiences. The nature of the issues that he examines are: Does being denied something make people pursue it more hotly but also simultaneously like it less? Does a wine's price tag price affect the pleasure one experiences?

Baba Shiv teaches courses at the GSB that build on his research interests. Examples of some of the courses that he teaches include "The Frinky Science of the Mind" and "Entrepreneurial Ventures in Luxury Markets."

Jesper B. Sørensen

Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Professor of Organizational Behavior; Professor of Sociology (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences; Codirector of Executive Leadership Development: Analysis to Action Program; Faculty Director, Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies; Susan Ford Dorsey Faculty Fellow for 2014-2015

Jesper Sørensen specializes in the dynamics of organizational and strategic change, and their implications for individuals and their careers. His research on firm outcomes has focused on the impact of organizational structure and culture on organizational learning, performance, and innovation. His work on the dynamics of teams has led to new insights concerning how people respond to changes in the racial composition of their workgroups. Currently, Sørensen is engaged in a large-scale project on the determinants of entrepreneurial behavior that examines several previously unanswered questions, such as how work environments shape rates of entrepreneurship.

Sarah A. Soule

Sarah A. Soule is the Morgridge Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Professor of Sociology (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences. She has taught courses with the Stanford and is also Faculty Director for the Executive Program on Social Entrepreneurship.

Larissa Tiedens

Jonathan B. Lovelace Professor of Organizational Behavior; Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Director of the Executive Program in Leadership: The Effective Use of Power

Professor Tiedens' research is primarily in two areas: (1) the psychology of social hierarchies, and (2) the social context of emotion. She is specifically interested in the psychological processes involved in the creation and maintenance of hierarchical relationships. Her work on emotion is concerned with the effects of emotion on social judgment and with relations between social roles and emotions.

Stefanos Zenios

Charles A. Holloway Professor of Operations, Information and Technology; Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Stefanos Zenios is the Charles Holloway Professor of Operations, Information and Technology at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Faculty Director of its Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. His research covers both innovation and health care: he examines innovation as a process with discrete steps and specific outcomes, and studies health care startups and the attributes associated with their success. He designed and teaches Startup Garage, an experiential course in which students apply the innovation processes that drive Silicon Valley’s ecosystem. Zenios also oversees the GSB Venture Studio, a facility enabling graduate students across disciplines to apply classroom learnings to create high-impact ventures.

Video Introduction
Stanford Executive Education: Stanford LEAD Certificate: Corporate Innovation
Join faculty director Peter DeMarzo to learn about Stanford GSB's new online learning experience. Combining the academic rigor, world-class faculty, and innovative frameworks for which the Stanford GSB is renowned, the Stanford LEAD Certificate: Corporate Innovation gives you the strategic business tools and techniques to accelerate change and transformation in your organization.


Stanford LEAD Certificate - Learning Platform Demo
Discover what it's like to be a participant in the LEAD Certificate with this demo of the learning platform.
Key Benefits
  • Gain skills and strategies to accelerate and drive change in your organization
  • Learn at your own pace, on your own turf with self-paced video lectures
  • Collaborate and innovate with peers through team projects, class discussions, and ongoing feedback
  • Iterate and innovate on the job, applying new learnings to real-world business challenges
  • Showcase your success and demonstrate your skills and leadership with a prestigious Stanford GSB certificate
  • Build a strong network of highly-qualified peers from around the globe
  • Be part of a select, pioneering group of change agents
With new technologies we have the opportunity to rethink learning as a journey rather than an event. The LEAD certificate journey will provide interactive, social, academic experiences in a flexible format, fostering deeper and more integrated learning, and empowering leaders to drive impactful organizational change.
– Peter DeMarzo
Faculty Director

Who Will Benefit?

The Stanford LEAD Certificate: Corporate Innovation is for highly motivated professionals who are committed to creating and sustaining change in their organizations. It’s specifically designed for:

  • Change agents from large and small companies who are developing new products, services, and markets or embarking on strategic pivots or cultural changes
  • Leaders of innovation teams in any field or organization—public or private, profit or nonprofit
  • Busy professionals who have extensive organizational time commitments making it impossible to be away from the office for executive education


The first Stanford LEAD Certificate focuses on Corporate Innovation, addressing the unique challenges and opportunities inherent in fostering and implementing change within an established organization. Learn key business fundamentals—finance, strategy, and critical thinking—in our 3 foundation courses. Choose from a range of innovation-focused electives to deepen your knowledge and meet your specific interests and business challenges.

Unique Approach

We know that a great business education—whether on campus or online—is more than just a series of courses. At Stanford GSB, students engage with peers, collaborate on team projects, interact with faculty and coaches, and learn from the experiences of highly successful global business leaders.

The Stanford LEAD Certificate uniquely brings these same benefits to the world of online learning. We’re combining our top tenure-line faculty with a small and highly selective cohort. We’re employing a suite of cutting-edge technologies that provide self-paced learning, peer group collaboration, and a cloud-based immersive space for interactive group experiences. Our ultimate goal: to create an intimate, demanding, and impactful educational journey, one that gives learners the freedom to chart their own course.


How It Works

Courses will be comprised of self-paced video lectures and assignments, individual assessments, team-based projects, class-wide discussions, and ongoing peer and faculty feedback. Learning methods for each course will be different, and optimized for the individual course and its content.

Courses will begin and end on a quarter-year schedule. Expect to spend an average of three hours per week per course consuming the material and completing the assignments. As with the learning methods, the nature of the time commitment will vary based on the specific content of each course.

The program is designed to be completed in one year with a load of 2 courses per quarter. You can adjust the number of courses you take each quarter if you would like more flexibility. All students will take 3 foundation courses. Electives are individually selected to address your interests and unique business challenges.

To receive the Stanford LEAD Certificate you must have successfully demonstrated mastery of 3 foundation courses and 5 electives.

The Stanford Difference

At Stanford we're pioneers. It's part of our heritage, our present and our future. Stanford helped put Silicon Valley on the map, and Silicon Valley launched the industries that have shaped our modern world. At Stanford we teach leaders to be pioneers of the modern frontier. Think critically. Challenge assumptions. Change the rules of competition. Now, we’re changing the rules of business education.


Fernando Contreras
Associate Director, Extended Learning
Phone: +1.650.736.7901