Leadership & innovation

Leadership & innovation


ESI offers in-house programs to support and accelerate your product innovation strategy in combination with the development of required system level competencies.

To create added value for your company as well as for individual participants, ESI has developed the ‘industry-as-classroom’ concept. This educational concept combines real-life industrial product innovation cases with on-the-job training, the latest theory insights and personal coaching.

For high-tech companies like NXP, the ability to anticipate trends in markets, business and technology is pivotal when it comes to keeping the competitive edge. The Architect Accelerator Programs of ESI help us to train our young talents on the required system level competencies in order to manage the increasing complexity and develop tomorrow’s defendable business propositions in an agile way.

Thomas Wille, NXP

way of working

After a thorough intake with senior management, the participants work in teams on one or more company-specific product innovation cases.

The teams are coached by ESI research fellows with extensive industrial experience in high-tech systems innovation. Teams are expected to interact with stakeholders within the organization and present their insights and results to senior management on a regular basis.


The typical goals of an in-house program are:

  • the acceleration of product innovation in the early phases of product development

  • the creation of insights into possible design strategies, related choices and the consequences for the market, product, technology and organization

  • the creation of a common understanding and way of working

  • the accelerated development of system-level architecting and design competencies

Key competencies for technical leaders

Being a technical leader at a system level requires more than technical competencies and interpersonal skills.

To innovate at the intersection between the market, business and technology, a high-tech leader must be able to put the following competencies into practice:

  • Getting the true requirements from customers and creating alignment between stakeholders and project teams.

  • Seeing relationships between disciplines and helping team members to understand and respect these relationships.

  • Balancing technical risks and opportunities with the desired end-result.

  • Providing the big picture perspective.

  • Translating technical jargon into business or operational terms and vice-versa.

  • Managing the emergence in both the project and the system.

  • Rising above the noise and focusing on potential pitfalls.

  • Making (technical) decisions in a highly innovative and changing environment, despite the technical leadership