Innovation in a Crisis

The NACS Innovation Leadership Program at MIT helps prioritize innovation to unlock post-crisis growth.

September 22, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—In a recent McKinsey survey of more than 200 organizations across industries, more than 90% of executives said they expect the fallout from COVID-19 to fundamentally change the way they do business over the next five years. And more than three-quarters also agreed that the crisis will create significant new opportunities for growth—growth fueled by innovation.

This kind of successful innovation requires highly trained leaders who can ignite the creative spirit and create a culture of innovation. Are you and your teams equipped?

The MIT Sloan School of Management is world-renowned for the development and advancement of strategic and innovative management methods and practices. And NACS has partnered with MIT to deliver the NACS Innovation Leadership Program, a live-virtual program that will run from Nov. 18 through Dec. 17.

Embracing the motto of MIT—mans et manus (mind and hand)—the program combines research-based management frameworks with practical hands-on experience. Small group collaborative work, lightning talks with start-ups from the MIT ecosystem, white-boarding breakouts and engaging professors cover topics found in the curriculum.

“I am so appreciative of the effort that was put into creating this program—my head is still spinning!” said Bill Stein, senior vice president of enterprise growth for CoreMark, who attended last year. Gary Price, vice president of operations for Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, added, “As a life-long learner, and someone who desires to constantly sharpen the saw, I see tremendous value in this program.”

Graciously endowed by Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Shell and PDI, the program is taught by professors from the MIT Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Award-winning faculty of the program include:

  • Court Chilton has helped large organizations produce business results from learning, coaching and enterprise-wide change efforts including GE Capital, Deloitte, Fidelity, Bank of America, Novartis, Merck and Home Depot. He has worked internationally on a variety of business-building initiatives: creating “branded client experiences;” relationship management and service improvement; sales training and leadership development; implementing Six Sigma, professional practice management; and re-engineering the learning function. He has also developed computer simulations, online 360 feedback and process-embedded e-learning. 
  • Professor Zeynep Ton is examining how organizations can design and manage their operations in a way that satisfies employees, customers and investors simultaneously. Her earlier research focused on the critical role of store operations in retail supply chains. Her work has been published in a variety of journals, including Organization Science, Production and Operations Management and the Harvard Business Review. In addition, she has written numerous cases that explore different approaches to managing retail stores and labor. In 2014, Zeynep published her findings in a book, The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits.
  • Renée Gosline is a 2020 honoree on the Thinkers50 Radar List of thinkers who are “putting a dent in the universe” and has been named one of the World’s Top 40 Professors under 40. She is a leading thinker on the science of digital brand strategy. Renée’s research examines how social structure and technology (e.g., digital customer experience, status, social media) affect performance and self-perception (as featured in her Tedx talk, “The Outsourced Mind”). Her projects have examined how cognitive style predicts preference for AI versus human input, the interaction of brand status and placebo effects in performance, the circumstances under which customers perceive value, and the effects of storytelling in social media on trust and persuasion.
For fall 2020, this live virtual program is built to deliver a world-class experience that’s as thought-provoking and rewarding as the in-person offering. Registration is open for the 2020 NACS Innovation Leadership Program.