Bill Duggan on the science of how the mind develops creative ideas

Kenneth Favaro on how companies can become more innovative

Nadim Yacteen on strategic innovation to solve major problems

Amy D'Onofrio on creative combination as an innovation method

Strategic Intuition Lab

Do you need an innovation? Let our students give you one.

The Strategic Intuition Lab at Columbia Business School puts a team of MBA and Executive MBA students to work on an innovation problem or opportunity of your choosing. Over twelve weeks, professors and experts guide the team through a research-based innovation method exclusive to Columbia: strategic intuition. The result is an innovation you can put into action right away.

The course is co-taught by Professor William Duggan, author of the books Strategic Intuition and Creative Strategy, and Ken Favaro, Global Leader for Enterprise Strategy at Booz + Co.

We invite interested companies to email us at

Last year's clients:

amazon hp sony imax nasa loreal crain

OUR METHOD: Three steps to innovation

1. Rapid Appraisal

In a series of brief interviews, our student team works with you to pin down what is the key problem where you most need to innovate. Then together we break down the problem: what are the key obstacles to overcome? These are the pieces of the puzzle you need to solve.

2. What-Works Scan

We search the world for companies and organizations that have solved different pieces of the puzzle in different situations. We find out exactly what elements worked to overcome which obstacles, why, and how you might adapt these elements to your problem.

3. Creative Combination

We condense the best elements we found in the scan, present them to your team, and lead you through a workshop where you select and combine a subset of elements to arrive at your innovation. We help you plan how to implement the idea too.

How are these three steps different from other innovation methods?

Most innovation methods have two steps: first, in-depth research and analysis on the problem; and second, brainstorming to produce a solution. This produces strong analysis and weak solutions. We reverse the emphasis: we trust that you understand the problem, so we spend most of our time searching widely for elements of a solution. That's how great innovations actually happen: creative combinations from new sets of sources.

You can read more about the method in these two books from Columbia Business School Publishing:

Strategic Intuition

Strategic Intuition

Creative Strategy

Creative Strategy