Innovation Black Belt Program

According to PwC’s recent CEO survey, innovation is now the #1 business priority! That’s why the Coles College of Business has designed a new Innovation Black Belt program that helps professionals at all levels master the three phases of innovation—Discover, Prototype and Implement. This unique program offers 20 hours of gamified online learning and 40 hours of facilitated classroom “doing.”

Program Curriculum

The Innovation Black Belt program is designed and taught by a world-class team of innovation experts. The faculty director is Steve Olson, Ph.D. who has won nine teaching awards and has developed innovation training programs for senior executives at Panasonic, Regions Bank, Playcore and the Atlanta Falcons, to name just a few. The other co-faculty director and teacher is Everett Darby who is a world-renowned innovation expert and the former Innovation Executive for The Coca-Cola Company, North America. Attend this program and you will become a highly-respected innovator by mastering the three phases of innovation!

  • Phase 1 - Discover: We begin the innovation process with design thinking to identify and create human-focused innovations. We will master the techniques for truly understanding the needs and wants of our customers. We will learn how to leverage the Competing Values Framework (CVF), the three dimensions of innovation, value mapping and ethnographic interviewing techniques.
  • Phase 2 - Prototype: After the Discover Phase, we start the Rapid Prototyping Phase. In the beginning, we pitch our prototype to audiences as a way to learn how to make the prototype better. We will master the art of the "I Like, I Wish, I Wonder" method for gaining feedback. Next, we'll learn how to pitch the prototype to gain the funding and internal support we'll need to move the prototype to the next phase of the process.
  • Phase 3 - Implement: What's the difference between an idea and an innovation? The answer is money! Innovations are things we do to make our organizations better and new but they must create value for our customers and for our organization. This phase of the Innovation Black Belt program teaches us how to turn a great idea into a profitable reality.

Program Benefits

Attend this program and you will learn how to:

  • Clarify your passion for innovating
  • Innovate in three dimensions
  • Create human-based, game-changing innovations
  • Use the innovation value mapping technique
  • Harness the powers of Moore’s Law and Hick’s Law
  • Leverage disruptive technology to overthrow industry leader
  • Design business model innovations to accelerate disruption
  • Build an innovative culture using the Competing Values Framework
  • Defeat the Darwinian forces of market competition
  • Write your innovation challenge statement
  • Surface what you know and don’t know
  • Choose your discovery methods and identify people to engage
  • Create and test your interview guide; create empathy maps
  • Brainstorm and select a solution to your innovation challenge
  • Pitch your prototype as a way to learn (I like, I wish, I wonder)
  • Diagnose and overcome the systematic and political challenge
  • Navigate the stage gates and map stakeholder priorities
  • Identify, build and inspire your Innovation Project Team
  • Analyze and develop the innovation’s business model
  • Finalize the scope for your Black Belt Innovation Project

Program Format:

A hybrid format with 20 hours of gamified online learning and 40 hours of facilitated classroom "doing."

Program Dates:

Contact KSU Executive Education Programs for dates.

Program Location:

Held inside the innovative classrooms at the new City Springs Complex located in the heart of Sandy Springs, just north of Atlanta.

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Program Cost:

Complete the Innovation White Belt online content and attend the first three-day session to earn an Innovation Green Belt. Complete the Innovation White Belt online content and attend both three-day sessions to earn an Innovation Black Belt (project also required).

The Green Belt is $3,900 per person and the Black Belt is $8,900 per person. Discounts, scholarships, and payment plans are available.

For more information, contact Jen Renshaw (470-578-6050) or Brenda Luther (470-578-3414) or email