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Strategy Innovation & Change

The Diploma in Strategy, Innovation and Change offers participants the insight and understanding needed to lead organisations in a complex global business environment. The focus on strategy, innovation and change will provide the knowledge and skills you need to reach the highest level of your career, whether you are managing in a commercial or public sector context.

This programme is designed to enhance your ability to make and execute effective strategic decisions. It will provide deep insight into managing innovation and leading change. It will offer business managers and directors with a versatile, strategic toolkit to give coherence and direction to the actions and decisions of the organisation.

Is this Course for me?

This diploma will benefit leaders, executives and managers who are responsible for guiding their organisation, division, department or team through strategic change and innovation. The diploma is designed for mid and upper level managers in any area or industry seeking to create new value for their organisation.

The diploma is designed for:
•Individuals with at least five years managerial experience seeking to enhance their skills in strategy

•Senior executives seeking to enhance their skills in contributing to strategy development and innovation

•Managers involved in strategic planning, implementation or change management

•Individual contributors who are tasked with managing the strategy process

•Advisors, management consultants, entrepreneurs and owner managers

Benefits for me and my organization
For you:
• Develop a toolkit to assess and address the strategic challenges facing your organisation

• Learn strategies for setting and maintaining the direction for renewal and innovative thinking

• Adopt strategies for turning resistance into cooperation and for extracting maximum benefit from new opportunities

• Improve strategic decision-making capability and the ability to re-think strategy in the light of new economic and business realities

For you:
• Understand the factors to support innovation and improve your capabilities to apply innovation in your organisation

• Learn from the combined experience of high achieving peers, world class international faculty and industry experts

• Complement existing qualifications and update skills for continuing professional development

For your organisation:
• Participants can integrate study into their working lives while enhancing their contribution as a member of the management team

• Employer involvement in the business project contributes to the application of learning to a real strategic issue

• Participants can then contribute to the solution of a strategic issue through the action learning parallel

• As a result, participants gain confidence and knowledge to undertake complex senior management responsibilities


6 two-day modules (Fri & Sat) over 12 months

This programme is delivered over a series of 6 two-day workshops within a 10–month period. Workshops are held on Fridays and Saturdays to minimise interference with busy work schedules. 100% attendance is required. Workshops will take place at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.

The diploma programme is demanding and participants should be free of other responsibilities on the days of the workshops. 100% attendance is required.

Careers or further progression

MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice)

The Diploma in Strategy, Innovation and Change forms part of the MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice) pathway. The pathway framework is comprised of eleven diploma programmes. If participants successfully complete three of these eleven diplomas within a 5-year timeframe, they are awarded with the MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice).

The diploma options available in the Masters pathway are as follows:

Professional Diploma in Leadership Development
Professional Diploma in Advanced Management Performance
Professional Diploma in Strategy, Innovation and Change
Professional Diploma in Strategic Growth (Food Industry)
Professional Diploma in Organisation Renewal & Transformation
Professional Diploma in Strategic Growth (Biotech & Pharma Industry)
Professional Diploma in Business & Executive Coaching
Professional Diploma in Corporate Governance
Professional Diploma in Corporate Finance (Details to be announced shortly)
Professional Diploma in Business Finance (Details to be announced shortly)
Professional Diploma in High Performance Sales and Business Development (Details to be announced shortly)

Further enquiries

For further information, please contact Deirdre Luby, Business Development Manager on Tel: +353 1 716 8080 or email

Subjects taught

Module 1: Strategic Leadership - The Personal Dimension
The first module addresses the participants’ individual roles in strategy, innovation and change. It provides an action plan for participants to enhance their contribution in these areas.

•Self-awareness and critical assessment of key strengths and development needs as strategic leaders

•Build organisational resilience through creation of a shared vision

•Understand your organisation culture and subcultures

Module 2: Strategy in a Turbulent Environment-the New Normal
This module will review the ways in which global economic shifts and rapid technological changes are transforming the business landscape and traditional concepts of competition, advantage, value creation and strategy.

•Appreciation of the “mega-trends” influencing the context for strategy over the next 5-10 years

•Ability to develop, construct and employ scenario thinking in the development of strategy

•An informed perspective on the importance and costs of building strategic flexibility in the organisation

Module 3: Market Position and Competitive Advantage
This module is designed to equip the participant with a sound understanding of the principles of positioning and competitive advantage. The module will also help the participant to explore their ability to analyse key issues in strategic decision-making, and to understand, in depth, the strategic decision-making process.

•Design and evaluate a firm’s market position

•Review and critique an organisation’s competitive strategy and evaluate its ability to provide a sustainable advantage

•Translate competitive strategy into a well articulated and presented business plan

Module 4: Top Management Teams and Strategic Decision-Making
Most strategic decisions are made by top management teams because they involve complex judgements and require diversity of input and team commitment to implementation.

•Acquire skills to evaluate the top management team’s ability and competence in making and implementing strategic decisions

•Improve individual contributions to top management team decisions

•Gain superior insight into biases that adversely affect strategic decisions and apply techniques to overcome these biases

Module 5: Resource Commitments and Real Option Reasoning
To paraphrase Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of General Electric, strategy is about making clear-cut choices. These choices revolve around decisions about the commitment of resources.

•Design and evaluate a business model

•Understand the nature of strategic decisions and how these differ from other forms of decisions

•Utilise real options reasoning in evaluating investment alternatives-which is particularly important in choices about adoption of new technologies, among other applications

Module 6: Leading Innovation and Change
While the previous module emphasised analysis, this module emphasises action. A key source of advantage is to out-innovate the competition, but what tools are available to the leader to create the innovative organisation?

•Develop insight and personal competence in leading the organisation through a transition to a more innovative organisation

•Ability to identify the barriers and enablers of innovation in an organisation



Accredited: NFQ Level 9 & Credit: 30 ECTS

Successful participants will be awarded a Professional Diploma in Strategy, Innovation and Change. This qualification is accredited and awarded by University College Dublin and valued at 30 credits. It is positioned at Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Assessment method

Assessments and Workload
Participants are assessed on a module by module basis through a variety of practical assignments. The emphasis throughout the programme is on the practical application of knowledge to benefit the participant, their team and their organization.

Application date

For application forms and further information please contact Deirdre Luby, Business Development Manager, Tel: +353 1 716 8080 or Email

Contact Smurfit Executive Development

For information on open enrolment and other individual programmes or to learn how your organisation can partner with UCD for a customised executive development programme, please contact us. There are a number of ways to get in touch with us, and our team is readily available to help answer any questions you may have.

By phone, fax, email or post:

Telephone: + 353 1 716 8889/8080/8050
Fax: +353 1 716 8997

Executive Development
UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School
Carysfort Avenue
Co. Dublin‌

Course fee

The fee of €7,750 or €7,636 (UCD Business Alumni discount) is a comprehensive cost that includes all tuition and course-related materials as well as, breakfast, lunch and refreshments while on campus and access to UCD Library and other student services etc. There are no additional overheads.

Enrolment and start dates

For more information on our next 2017 intake please contact Deirdre Luby on (01) 716 8080 or email

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