Teaming up for Innovation: the RSM-ESMT Consortium Programme

Monday, February 14, 2011 by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM)

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) have joined forces to create and deliver a new programme to a select group of R&D teams representing some of the world's most innovative technology companies.

This is the first joint venture between these two highly regarded business schools resulting in a unique and highly effective learning experience for participants. The programme includes two content modules and the chance to work on real projects with actual team members - carefully supervised and supported by expert faculty coaches for the duration of the programme.

ESMT faculty member, Martin Kupp, says: "This collaboration has been a great opportunity to leverage each other's resources and share knowledge to design a programme that really focuses on identifying and overcoming the most common challenges to managing innovation."

RSM faculty member, Jan van den Ende, adds: "The participants also bring a wealth of experience, which we draw on in the classroom in order to facilitate idea sharing and to encourage the teams to re-think the way they look at problems."

The first module of the Managing Technology for Innovation programme was held in Berlin and attended by an international collection of teams from ASML, Daimler, FrieslandCampina, Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, and MAN. Each team came prepared with a specific project to work on over the course with topics ranging from 'how to improve internal marketing for innovation efforts' to 'reviewing our innovation processes to cope with major changes in our industry'.

Michael Smith, programme director at RSM, says: "A lot of the topics the groups want to work on are to do with becoming more effective at fundamental business processes or improving the way they communicate with stakeholders about innovation. Being innovative is generally no problem for anyone in this programme - getting others to understand why innovation is important and aligning it with other business functions, that’s more of a challenge."

The first module brought together the topics of strategy, innovation and business management. Participants also spent time scoping their projects under the guidance of expert faculty and planning their next steps. As one participant put it: "It was really great to be able to step back and reflect, to look at what you do and why you do it, and see your company through someone else’s perspective>."

The programme consists of two residential modules and a team project. It is designed to support intact teams working on real work challenges. For more information or to register your interest in the 2011 iteration, please contact Michael Smith at or click here to visit our website.