University of Technology Sydney

81515 Leading Innovation

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Creative Intelligence and Innovation: Transdisciplinary Innovation
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 81514 Creativity and Complexity
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject addresses the current and future leadership practices that are required to mobilise people and to transform the organisations and systems they work and live in, to create and implement innovation. This includes a discussion of the social, epistemological, and contextual barriers and enablers of innovation.Students explore frameworks and various dimensions of innovation leadership and speculate about their future professional lives as innovation leaders.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Examine the epistemological and methodological barriers and enablers of mono-, multi-, and trans-disciplinary innovation practices
2. Articulate the current and future structures, processes, and practices that influence innovation and transformation across organisations, networks and systems
3. Investigate the social and cultural dynamics of groups of people to exercise effective leadership within that group
4. Develop strategies to mobilise and connect people and the organisations, networks and systems they work and live in to create and implement innovation
5. Design communication strategies to persuade organisational and community leaders to implement innovation in professional or social contexts.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject contributes specifically to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Work within different community, organisational or cultural contexts to design and develop ideas, strategies and practices for betterment (CII.4.2)
  • Make decisions that recognise the humanity of others by engaging ethically and with sensitivity to the values of particular groups, communities, organisations or cultures (CII.4.3)
  • Explore and articulate the transformation required to create and implement innovation, with sensitivity to the creative destruction that this requires (CII.5.2)
  • Communicate confidently and with diplomacy to influence essential stakeholders or decision makers and to achieve impact (CII.5.4)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject develops students’ ability to engage imaginatively and ethically with different community, organisational and cultural contexts by drawing on diverse disciplinary perspectives to examine innovation leadership challenges, including creative destruction required in change initiatives. Finally, students design strategies for communicating confidently and with diplomacy to persuade organizational and community leaders to create and implement the recommended innovations in professional or social contexts.

So your experiences as a student in this subject support you to develop the following graduate attributes (GA):

  • GA 4 Imaginative and ethical citizenship
  • GA 5 Entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills

Teaching and learning strategies

Learning will take place in a collaborative, immersive, experiential, studio-based environment. Students will learn from academics, professionals and peers across a wide range of disciplines, as well as innovation leaders from industry or community. Students will conduct individual preparatory exploration, which will form the basis for collaborative discussion and interactive learning activities in class. Students will apply the leadership concepts and frameworks to explore real-world challenges and consider their impact on their future professional practice. Staff, peers and industry or community partners will give feedback continually through class activities and low-stakes interim assessment.

Content (topics)

  • Trans disciplinary dialogues
  • Innovation leadership strategies
  • Contextual barriers and enablers of innovation


Assessment task 1: Epistemologies and Innovation


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives:


This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):


Groupwork: Group, group assessed
Weight: 30%

Assessment task 2: Innovation leadership Organisational Strategy


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 3, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

CII.4.2, CII.4.3, CII.5.2 and CII.5.4

Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 40%

Assessment task 3: Your future creative leadership vision


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 3, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

CII.4.2, CII.4.3 and CII.5.2

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

Minimum requirements

Students must attempt each assessment task and achieve an overall pass mark in order to pass this subject.

Late penalties apply to all assessment tasks as outlined in the FTDi FYI student booklet. Please consult this booklet for other useful information including Special Consideration, Plagiarism, Extension, and Student Support Services.

A minimum of 80% of attendance of classes (as outlined in the timetable) is required

Recommended texts

Leading and Learning

Bar Am, J., Furstenthal, L. & Jorge, F. (June 17, 2020), Innovation in a Crisis: Why it is more critical than ever, McKinsey,

Uhl-Bien, M., & Arena, M. (2017). Complexity leadership: Enabling people and organizations for adaptability. Organizational Dynamics.
Spiller, C., Barclay-Kerr, H. & Panoho, J. (2015) Wayfinding leadership: Groundbreaking wisdom for developing leaders. Wellington, NZ: Huia Publishers.

Coyle, D. (2019) The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, Random House Business Books, London.

Meyer, D.(2008) Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business, Harper Collins, New York.

Brown, Brene (2018), Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. Vermilion, London

Cassidy, S (2004) Learning Styles: An overview of theories, models, and measures, Educational Psychology, 24:4, 419-444, DOI: 10.1080/0144341042000228834

Kolb, D. & Peterson, K. (2017) How you learn is how you live: Using nine ways of learning to transform your life,

Disciplinary perspectives & Transdisciplinarity

Audouin, M. (October 2013) Introduction to Transdisciplinarity;

Hall, K.L., Vogel, A.L., Huang, G.C., Serrano, K.J., Rice, E.L., Tsakraklides, S.P. and Fiore, S.M., (2018) The science of team science: A review of the empirical evidence and research gaps on collaboration in science. American Psychologist, 73(4), p.532.

Vogel, A.L., Stipelman, B.A., Hall, K.L., Nebeling, L., Stokols, D. and Spruijt-Metz, D., (2014) Pioneering the transdisciplinary team science approach: Lessons learned from National Cancer Institute grantees. Journal of translational medicine & epidemiology, 2(2).

Szostak, R. (2015) Defining "Disciplinary Perspective"; (last updated July 2015)

Miller, M., & Mansilla, V. B. (2004). Thinking across perspectives and disciplines. Interdisciplinary studies project: Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, USA. Full source can be found at

Max-Neef, M. A. (2005). Foundations of transdisciplinarity. Ecological economics, 53(1), 5-16

Leading Teams

Hill, L.A., Brandeau, G. Truelove, E. & Lineback, K. (June 2014) Harvard Business Review,

Mentally Friendly, (April 2020), A guide to Making Remote Teamwork Productive,

Danoesastro, M. What Are You Willing to Give Up to Change the Way We Work? The Power of Small Autonomous Teams,

PVI Collective, Tiny Revolutions Project, February, 2020,

Heifetz, R.A. ‘The Heart of Danger’ (1994) in Heifetz, R. A. Leadership without easy answers. (pp. 9-30). Harvard University Press. Leading Self

Burnett, B. & D. Evans (2016). Introduction - Life by Design. In Bill Burnett & Dave Evans (Eds.). Designing your Life: Build a Life That Works for You (pp. ix – xxxi). Vintage Publishing.

New Ways of Working to Lead Innovation

Alanna Irving on distributive leadership

Ackoff, Russell L (1999). Reflections on systems and their models. In R.L. Ackoff (Ed.) Ackoff's Best. (pp. 27-43). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Barlett, R. & Lombardo, N. (2019) Patterns for decentralised organising;

Comella-Dorda, S. Handscomb, C. and Zaidi, A. (June 2020) Agility to action: Operationalizing a value-driven agile blueprint, McKinsey,

Laloux, Frederic (2014). Changing Paradigms: Past and Present Organizational Models. In F. Laloux (Ed).

Lizier, A. L. (2017). Investigating work and learning through complex adaptive organisations. Journal of Workplace Learning, 29(7/8), 554-565. doi:doi:10.1108/JWL-05-2016-0033

Stacey, R. (2012). The theory of complex responsive processes - Understanding organizations as patterns of interaction between people. In R. Stacey (Ed). Tools and techniques of leadership and management: meeting the challenge of complexity (pp. 9-22). New York, NY: Routledge.

Implementing a Complex Adaptive System

Alice Petiprin, (2016) Nursing theory – from Novice to expert - @

Liberating Complexity - accessed @ -

Snowden, D. & Boone, M. (2007) A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making, Harvard Business Review, November 2007,

Complexity and citizen engagement in a Post-Social Media time, David Snowden - @