Centre for Continuing Education

Team Leadership for Innovation Course

Leadership. Inspiring and enabling organisations to create and realise optimal value.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Creative thinking and innovation leadership are critical future work skills for all leaders. Learn how to build and lead teams for innovation, identify your personal innovation strengths and weaknesses (using our self-assessment tools) and transform your organisation from within. You will also learn how to better adapt to rapid change contexts and foster an innovation-focused workplace culture.

This course is suitable for all budding entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, emerging leaders or existing managers wanting to transform their leadership styles.


This course aims to develop your innovation leadership skills by identifying and building on your innovation leadership strengths, addressing potential challenge areas and teaching you techniques to lead for innovation.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • identify the key qualities required for effective innovative team leadership
  • utilise the Innovation Change Leader (iCLi) tool* for developing innovation leadership strengths and addressing challenge areas
  • adjust your innovation leadership approach according to the context using the ‘Polar Positioning’ methodology
  • measure organisational readiness for innovation through the Innovation Climate Index (iCi) tool**
  • describe techniques for building and leading effective innovation teams
  • formulate personal action plans based on feedback.

*The Innovation Change Leader Inventory (iCLi tool) and the **Innovation Climate Index (iCi tool) were developed by Gaia Grant through her professional practice and extensive research into Innovation Leadership as part of her PhD thesis through the University of Sydney Business School. The iCLi tool highlights an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in the innovation leadership area. The iCi tool highlights an organisation’s readiness to take on innovation.


This course covers the following topics:

  • the latest research on innovation leadership and the skills required for innovation leadership
  • the power of identifying and maximising Paradoxical Innovation Leadership Orientations (PILOs)*
  • how to lead for innovation from your strengths according to your Innovation Change Leadership (iCLi) profile
  • how to target and challenge innovation leadership areas for development
  • how to identify and build complementary innovation teams
  • learning to adapt to rapid change contexts through the Polar Positioning (PoP) strategy**
  • strategies for building an innovative culture through the Innovation Climate Index (iCi) tool.

*The PILOs and **PoP strategies are drawn from the well-established ‘paradox literature’; academic literature from the business and management field. Please find a list of readings below.

Intended audience

Designed for all budding entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, leaders wanting to identify how to lead for innovation, and anyone wanting to know how to start-up or develop a sustainable business.

Delivery style



A booklet with the recommended readings will be provided to you before the start of the course.


The following readings are not compulsory for the course. Course content is informed by the following research:

Andriopoulos, C & Lewis, M W 2009, ‘Exploitation-exploration tensions and organizational ambidexterity: Managing paradoxes of innovation’, Organization Science, vol. 20, no. 4, pp.696-717.

Farjoun, M 2010, ‘Beyond dualism: Stabilty and change as a duality’, Academy of Management Review, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 202–225. Available: EBSCO Host Connection

Lampiala, T & Vanharanta, O 2018, ‘Rethinking the control-freedom paradox in innovation: Toward a multi-faceted understanding of creative freedom’, The Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 62-87.Flam

Lin, H, McDonagh, E F, Lin, S and Lin, C Y 2013, ‘Managing the exploitation/exploration paradox: The role of a learning capability and innovation ambidexterity’, Journal of Product Innovation Management, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 262-278.

Smith, W K 2014, ‘Dynamic decision making: a model of senior leaders managing strategic paradoxes’, Academy of Management Journal, vol. 57, no. 6, pp. 1592-1623.

Smith, W K & Lewis, M W 2011, ‘Toward a theory of paradox: A dynamic equilibrium model of organizing’, Academy of Management Review. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMR.2011.59330958

Smith, W K & Tushman, M L 2005, ‘Managing strategic contradictions: A top management model for managing innovation streams’, Organization Science, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 522-536.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

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