A comprehensive roadmap to generating winning ideas that will drive great outcomes – whatever your challenges, whatever your business

Order The Book today


How to Use the Book

You can use the book two ways. You can use it like a cookbook, working from the first chapter to the last and making each of your innovation tournament design decisions along the way. If you want to use this book in this way, think of each chapter as a specific step. 

Alternatively, you can treat the book as a user manual, thumbing through the content to locate a solution to the specific puzzle you are facing. Each chapter can be read independently of the others and you can access the content in any order to address your immediate needs. 

Creative Problem Solving Guide

Give Structure To Your Innovation Challenge

Roadmap to Generate Winning Ideas

What is in the book?

Articulates nine decisions required to structure tournaments. For example, should you include participants from outside the organization? Should the tournament last for a day or for a month? Should the tournament be convened in person or online?

Helps you formulate the right problem statement that you can share with the participants of the innovation tournament. Albert Einstein is often quoted as having said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”

Articulates nine decisions required to structure tournaments. For example, should you include participants from outside the organization? Should the tournament last for a day or for a month? Should the tournament be convened in person or online?

Examines the question of whether to direct the ideation process with a predetermined strategy, and, if so, how. Distinguishes between top-down and bottom-up approaches to innovation.

Focuses on specific ways in which you can improve the flow of opportunities that fuel your tournaments. Three levers drive the success of an innovation tournament, more ideas, better ideas, and higher variance ideas.

Describes approaches to representing and communicating opportunities, including the most common method in team settings, the 60-second oral presentation.

Details different methods for selecting the most promising opportunities and argues for quick, approximate methods early on

Shifts the perspective from the tournament as a whole to that of the individual opportunity. How do you succeed in an innovation tournament.

Discusses the impact of innovation tournaments on organizational culture. Some aspects of innovation benefit from tight cultures and others from loose cultures. We show that the tournament structure can help integrate tight and loose elements and can foster an innovative culture.

A call to action for you as an innovator and innovation leader and organizes your critical next steps into four pillars for future success



Christian Terwiesch

Christian Terwiesch is the Andrew M. Heller Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Professor in and the chair of Wharton’s Operations, Information, and Decisions department, co-director of Penn’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management, and also holds a faculty appointment In Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. His research on Operations Management and on Innovation Management appears in many of the leading academic journals ranging from Management Science to The New England Journal of Medicine. He is an award winning teacher with extensive experience in MBA teaching and executive education.

Professor Terwiesch is the co-author of Matching Supply with Demand, a widely used text-book in Operations Management that is now in its third edition. Based on this book, Professor Terwiesch has launched the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in business on Coursera. By now, well over half a million students enrolled in the course.

His first management book, Innovation Tournaments, was published by Harvard Business School Press. The novel, process-based approach to innovation outlined in the book was featured by BusinessWeek, the Financial Times, and the Sloan Management Review and has lead to innovation tournaments in organizations around the world. His subsequent book, Connected Strategies, combines his expertise in the fields of operations, innovation, and strategy to help companies take advantage of digital technology leading to new business models. The book has been featured as the cover story of the Harvard Business Review and has been featured by Bloomberg / BusinessWeek as one of the best books in 2020.

Professor Terwiesch has researched with and consulted for various organizations. From small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, he has helped companies become more innovative, often by implementing innovation tournament events and by helping to restructure their innovation portfolio. He holds a doctoral degree from INSEAD and a Diploma from the University of Mannheim.

Karl T. Ulrich

Karl T. Ulrich is CIBC Endowed Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also Professor of Mechanical Engineering. His most recent project is the design and construction of Tangen Hall, the largest facility in the world for student entrepreneurship. He co-founded Venture Lab, the Weiss Tech House, and the Integrated Product Design Program, institutions fostering innovation in the university community. 

He is the co-author of Product Design and Development (7th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2020), a textbook used by a quarter of a million students worldwide, Innovation Tournaments (Harvard Business Press, 2009), and Winning in China (Wharton School Press, 2021). He is the winner of many teaching awards at the Wharton School including the Anvil Award, the Miller-Sherrerd Award, and the Excellence in Teaching Award. In addition to his scholarly work, Professor Ulrich is a prolific innovator and entrepreneur, holding 24 patents.

He is a founder of Terrapass Inc. which the New York Times identified as one of the most noteworthy ideas of the year, and he is a designer of the Xootr scooter, which Business Week recognized as one of the 50 coolest products of the 21st Century.

Professor Ulrich holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT.

Helpful vIDEOS


teaching and workshops

Christian and Karl have worked with many corporations around the world and helped them run effective innovation tournaments ranging from small work-shops to large, multi-week tournaments involving thousands of people.

They also co-direct Wharton’s Mastering Innovation program, a week-long executive education program built on their research and experience.


Order The Book today