The Innovator's Academy

Increase your influence as an innovative leader, improve your team's culture, solve problems in new ways.
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  • Lectures 25
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2015 English

Course Description

During this course, you'll learn how to increase your influence as an innovative leader by applying cutting edge research and techniques to real-world situations. Together, we'll look at what it means to lead a culture of innovation and how we can translate the abstract concept of "innovation" into something real, tangible, and actionable.

Increase your influence as an innovative leader.

  • Increase your influence as an innovative leader
  • Translate “innovation” from an abstract concept to a specific plan of action
  • Improve your team’s culture through small but powerful steps
  • Experience new ways to approach problems and find solutions

Innovate, relate, create.

This is a course for anyone who wants to increase his or her impact as an innovative leader. Through an interactive, conversation-based approach, we explore innovation and leadership in a research-backed and practical way. This course will empower you to increase your skills in the areas of innovation and leadership, and you’ll leave with actionable tools that you can use right away, back out in the “real world.” We bring together research, case studies and examples, reflection, self-awareness, and personalized action planning for an offering that we suspect you’ll find to be a little bit different than some of the other innovation courses out there.

What are the requirements?

  • Other than your computer, everything that you should need for the course will be included - the course itself along with a printable interactive workbook and a resource guide.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Translate "innovation" from an abstract concept into a specific plan of action
  • Solve existing problems in new ways
  • Increase your impact as an innovative leader
  • Improve your team's culture through small but powerful steps

Who is the target audience?

  • No prior knowledge of innovative leadership is needed.
  • This course is for innovators, leaders, and intrapreneurs working within teams of all sizes. Solopreneurs and freelancers may also find this course useful; however, please know that a number of our examples relate to teams and organizations.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Before You Begin

During this lecture, you'll set a foundation for the course. You'll learn more about the structure and what you can expect during the lectures that follow. You'll also have an opportunity to set a personalized learning goal.


During this lecture, we'll establish shared language that you'll hear throughout the course. We'll define several of the key terms that we'll explore together, and we will clarify a few common misconceptions related to innovation, creativity, and leadership.


As Simon Sinek says, "it's not what we do but why we do it." We'll explore the importance of innovation for the bottom line, and we'll provide you with key talking points to take back to any innovative "skeptics" you may be encountering within your team or organization.


During this lecture, you'll review your key learning from section 1. You'll also have an opportunity to pause to reflect on action items and key take-aways.

Section 2: Paradoxes

During this lecture, we'll introduce and define The Innovative Leadership Model.


During this lecture, we'll introduce and define The Paradox Theory. You'll learn the role of paradoxes in leadership and in innovation, and you'll get a preview of the specific paradoxes that we will be examining throughout the course.


During this lecture, we'll be reviewing Section 2. What are your greatest pieces of learning? What are the action items you'd like to carry forward?

Section 3: Intent

During this lecture, you'll learn about vision. We'll examine why vision matters for innovative leadership, we'll determine the components of a strong vision statement, and we'll look at real-world examples of powerful vision statements as they relate to innovation and leadership.


During this lecture, we'll examine the paradox of personal passions versus organizational mission. We'll learn how to clarify our personal values, how to understand our organization's values, and how to bridge the two.

Strategic Thinking vs. Daily Accountability

During this lecture, we'll review section 3. You'll clarify your learning and your action steps related to this section.

Section 4: Resources

During this lecture, we'll be exploring the role of our most important resource: people. We'll explore different ways that we can organize our teams in order to most effectively tap into the talents of the individuals who we work with.


During this lecture, we'll examine the paradox of slow hunch versus ideas on demand. You'll learn about the "myth of the eureka moment" and how to prioritize both pieces of this paradox as both a leader and as an innovator. You'll also have an opportunity to hear from a leading expert on this topic, Steven Johnson, through a brief video.


During this lecture, we'll review section 4. What are the biggest things that you learned? What do you want to carry forward in the form of an action item or a conversation?

Section 5: Environment

During this lecture, we'll examine the paradox of failure versus success. You'll learn about the significance of failure for both innovation and for leadership.


During this lecture, we'll examine the paradox of collaboration versus autonomy. We will also explore the role of environment as it relates to innovative leadership.


During this lecture, we'll review section 5. What are your greatest pieces of learning? What would you like to apply to your own environment?

Section 6: People

During this lecture, we'll be underlining a simple yet powerful idea: that people generate ideas. We'll talk about what it means to focus not just on ideas, but on the human being behind the ideas.


During this lecture, we'll be exploring the paradox of restriction versus freedom. We'll talk about how guidelines, policies, procedures, and verification fit into innovative leadership. We'll also talk about how we can create more autonomy and more trust within our teams.


During this lecture, we'll be reflecting on section 6. What did you learn? What do you want to do next?

Section 7: Leadership

During this lecture, we'll examine the paradox of value ideas versus value process. We'll explore the role of recognition, appreciation, and rewards. You'll also have an opportunity to create a personalized list of ideas to use with your team.


During this lecture, we'll explore the paradox of hierarchy versus flat organization. We'll examine the elements of both types of structures, and how both fit into innovative leadership.


During this lecture, we'll review section 7. What did you learn? What would you like to carry forward?

Section 8: Call to Action

This lecture is all about making your learning real. Ideally, your learning won't end just because you've reached the end of this course. We'll look at ways you can keep these ideas alive, and ways that you can continue to serve as an innovation champion for your team and for your organization.

Section 9: Section 9: Interactive Study Guide
18 pages

We encourage you to download this interactive study guide and use it as a way to take notes and reflect throughout the course.

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Instructor Biography

I am a licensed school psychologist with a Masters of Science (M.S.) & Educational Specialist Degree (Ed.D.) in School Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. After I graduated, I was an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha teaching in the Psychology department. That experience began my love for teaching, questioning, and collaborating with students.

As a school psychologist in my practice, I administer educational assessments which include IQ assessments. After studying and giving IQ assessments for a few years, I grew frustrated with how these tests measure intelligence. I felt intelligence was so much more than selecting a picture that completes a pattern or remembering a set of numbers. Students would give me these impressive, creative answers to questions on the IQ test but I could never count them as right because they were not in the answer book - that bothered me. Thus began my interest in creativity and how to cultivate, measure, and nurture it because I saw it as an intelligence and a vital life skill.

I decided to continue my education after being a school psychologist to give me more opportunities to learn about interest in creativity . I went back to school and graduated with a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D). in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies. During this time creativity was my focus of research and projects. For my dissertation, I traveled to various advertising agencies in the Midwest and interviewed the creatives at each agency on how their organization and leader can help them be most creative.

I loved conducing this research project so much, I started a creativity consulting firm, Axle Rev, to continue my work and help organizations discover how they can cultivate creativity. I co-founded Axle with my father, Kent McCuddin, who has been a creative director in the advertising industry for over 30 years. He also has a passion for creativity and has given many lectures on how to be creative that he called Brain Therapy sessions and has spoken at many events including TEDxOmaha. The mission of Axle Rev is promote the value of creativity and help individuals, leaders, and organizations foster creative intelligence.

Instructor Biography

Sarah Young, Leadership Coach & Entrepreneur

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm an entrepreneur, a former talent management executive, and the founder of Zing Collaborative - a leadership-focused change management and coaching company. I work with organizations, teams, and individuals to make an impact in way that leads to great results and to a feeling of aliveness. I believe that leadership is something we do in all areas of our lives – at work, at home, and out in the world.

Prior to launching Zing Collaborative, I spent 8 years leading people, projects, and teams in the healthcare IT industry. It was during this time that I became obsessed with human potential and the possibilities we create when our strengths, passions, talents, and values are aligned. Today, I'm a certified professional co-active coach (CPCC), a leadership development strategist, and a keynote speaker. I love leading groups to new possibilities through fierce conversations and authenticity.

When I'm not working with my amazing clients, you'll typically find me somewhere in nature, at a farmers' market or local restaurant, traveling or camping, or hanging out with my favorite 2-legged and 4-legged companions. I look forward to connecting with you here on Udemy!

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