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The Ambidextrous Organization

Beginner | Duration: 01:08


For many years, organizations have struggled when it comes to efforts they make to increase the impact of innovation on the performance of their company. Many firms have decided to redirect innovation staff toward larger, more risky bets on radical / breakthrough programs only to find that the results fall short of expectations. On the other hand, companies who ignore the idea of higher risk, higher reward radical programs in favor of a more incremental approach can find that a competing alternative has “leapfrogged” their more mature incrementally enhanced offering. What should the organization do? Aside from being somewhat intuitively obvious, research has confirmed that companies that demonstrate ambidexterity produce higher innovation impact than those that do not. By “ambidexterity,” we refer to a risk-balanced portfolio of innovation programs and supporting capabilities that allow the firm to execute over the spectrum of incremental to radical innovation opportunities. Most companies can well grasp the concept of ambidexterity, but without some help, relatively few have success with the execution of a balanced portfolio strategy. Success involves understanding the capabilities needed, establishing the framework and structure, implementing portfolio management, and selecting staffing / organizational structures. John Cocco will provide an overview of the learnings from academic research and years of the practical application of the concept of Ambidexterity.

Prerequisites and audience

The audience is all people working within an organization that want to increase innovation impact. Ideally the person has some familiarity with the fundamentals of innovation management (60 Minutes of Innovation Management by Magnus Penker).

Course Goal

To learn the about the concept of Organizational Ambidexterity with emphasis on background understanding and then with some practical approaches to work toward a balanced portfolio. To better understand the leadership and also the management tactics required to move a firm toward ambidexterity The course will set the stage for further studies and also possible accreditation as an Innovation 360 Licensed Practitioner.


You will be able to buy ($99US) a block-chained digital micro-credential certificate after you complete the course (optional).



Dr. John Cocco

John Cocco currently is an adjunct professor of management at Boston University. He comes from industry recently retired after working for 35 years as a technical manager at a multi billion dollar multinational organization. He served as senior vice president of Innovation, Product Development and Technical Service globally for Henkel Corporation’s Loctite Adhesives business unit. His experience also includes ownership of various small service businesses including a real estate property management firm and a small Vermont Inn.
Dr. Cocco holds an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University. He also holds an M.S. in Engineering, MBA and a Ph.D. in Innovation Strategy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His is a licensed Professional Engineer. His international management experience is extremely broad. From 2011 to 2017, he lead innovation efforts globally from Henkel Corporation’s innovation center in Shanghai China. Dr. Cocco is recognized by the American Brewer’s Guild as a master brewer.