The Corporate Innovation Game

Learn how established companies can compete like startups

Alternate Reality Course
Skills you'll learn
  • Leading teams for success
  • Conducting business experiments
  • Pitching and Selling your ideas
  • Hiring the right team
  • Negotiating with key stakeholders
  • Analyzing business opportunities
Time commitments
Experience duration:
3 weeks*
Touch points:
6 scheduled synchronous sessions with your team*
Learning time:
Approximately 22 hours*
Full details below

Gain critical knowledge about leading innovative organizations as taught in Wharton MBA classes

Available May, 2021

The Corporate Innovation Game is a three-week long immersive simulation-based class that teaches players the latest research-based approaches that help established companies compete like startups. Working with your team, you will lead and run an internal venture at a fictional corporation, making key decisions that all leaders face as they grow their business. You will get a chance to put into practice the latest techniques taught at Wharton on how to run innovative, successful teams. You will learn the basics of business analysis and experiments and how to staff and lead organizations successfully.

The Corporate Innovation Game gives you a chance to learn hard-won lessons before you encounter them in real life.

Corporate Innovation

The Experience & Your Commitment

What you can expect from us:

  • This is unlike anything you’ve ever played before. You may have experienced simulations in the past. This one is different. It is based on interactive fiction and uses evidence-based teaching techniques to help you learn.
  • This will be a fun, but challenging experience. The game is built to simulate the environment of an internal venture. There will be many choices to make, and not all of those choices will be clear-cut. You’ll get a lot of support from Wharton faculty, successful alumni, and in-game characters throughout but the choices you’ll need to make may be challenging to navigate. This is your chance to practice and any mistakes you make in the game are ones you won’t make in real life.
  • You’ll get lots of personalized feedback and amass a personal knowledge library. The Corporate Innovation Game is built around a story, in which you and your team play a starring role. Choices you make will change the story and affect outcomes. Along the way, you’ll get personalized feedback about every choice you make, helping you learn from your mistakes and from your successes. You’ll get access to you a personal library, giving you a strong base of knowledge to apply in real life.

What we expect from you:

You’ll need to actively work with your team. This is a team-based simulation. Playing in teams of 4-6, you and your team will be competing against other teams; to do well and learn all you can, you will need to support your teammates and you’ll need their support as well. A key skill to practice in the game is your ability to work well with a team and navigate common team pitfalls. You will get support to make your team successful and to ensure an optimal learning experience.

You need to commit to 6 synchronous sessions with your team over a 3-week period. The simulation is designed around 6 synchronous periods; that means there will be a lot to do during these periods. Every team member is required to be online at the same time during these sessions. Think about your schedule ahead of time so that you can be present for every period.

You need to commit to working with your team outside of the simulation. There will be a lot of information coming at you during the synchronous periods. But to do well in the game, you’ll need to put in some time outside of those sessions. For instance, there will be instructional videos by Wharton faculty that will pop up during asynchronous periods, and watching these will help you improve and make good decisions in the simulation.

NOTE: The Entrepreneurship Game and the Corporate Innovation Game cover similar material from different perspectives. You should only take one.

What is an Alternate Reality Course (ARC)?

Built on our ARC platform, Alternate Reality Courses are a new breed of learning simulations. Every course combines world-class subject matter expertise, hyper-immersive interactive fiction, the science of learning, and innovative game design. ARCs are deeply engaging, teach through experience, and promote robust and enduring knowledge that you can (and will!) use beyond the course.

An ARC teaches you in three ways:

  • Learning objectives - skills you will learn and use in the future
  • Practice objectives - specific experiences you will encounter, so that when you see them in the real world, you will know what to do
  • Thinking objectives - mental techniques you will learn that are applicable outside of the context of the simulation

Featuring

Access a stack of learning resources along the way

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Evidence based practices
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Business tools developed by Wharton
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Video tutorials from leading minds in this space

Lessons of The Corporate Innovation Game include:

  • Team success: managing internal dynamics, chartering, team interventions
  • Financing an internal venture: cash flow, sources of capital
  • Business experiments: data gathering, hypothesis testing, pivoting
  • Hiring and scaling: candidate screening, interviewing, selection
  • Sales and marketing: selecting product features, securing sales, selecting key customers
  • Negotiations: establishing positions, analyzing bargaining power, conducting high-stakes negotiations
  • Pitching and persuasion: building pitch documents, persuading key stakeholders to invest in your idea
  • Leadership: inspiring a team, avoiding common pitfalls, achieving consensus
  • Experiencing the types of data that are generated by business experiments: surveys, market tests, and interviews
  • Leading during a time of uncertainty and change
  • Engaging with critical stakeholders in high-stakes settings: managers, customers, and employees
  • Navigating through common points of failure for internal ventures: team conflict, scaling, and process loss
  • Perspective-taking and the ability to analyze multiple viewpoints
  • Improvisation and bricolage, making do with what you have to solve novel problems
  • Self-monitoring and metacognition
  • Self-efficacy and the confidence to accomplish entrepreneurial challenges

Learning objectives

  • Team success: managing internal dynamics, chartering, team interventions
  • Financing an internal venture: cash flow, sources of capital
  • Business experiments: data gathering, hypothesis testing, pivoting
  • Hiring and scaling: candidate screening, interviewing, selection
  • Sales and marketing: selecting product features, securing sales, selecting key customers
  • Negotiations: establishing positions, analyzing bargaining power, conducting high-stakes negotiations
  • Pitching and persuasion: building pitch documents, persuading key stakeholders to invest in your idea
  • Leadership: inspiring a team, avoiding common pitfalls, achieving consensus

Practice objectives

  • Experiencing the types of data that are generated by business experiments: surveys, market tests, and interviews
  • Leading during a time of uncertainty and change
  • Engaging with critical stakeholders in high-stakes settings: managers, customers, and employees
  • Navigating through common points of failure for internal ventures: team conflict, scaling, and process loss

Thinking objectives

  • Perspective-taking and the ability to analyze multiple viewpoints
  • Improvisation and bricolage, making do with what you have to solve novel problems
  • Self-monitoring and metacognition
  • Self-efficacy and the confidence to accomplish entrepreneurial challenges

Authors

Ethan Mollick - Headshot

Ethan Mollick

Professor of Management

Read Ethan's Bio