Innovation Supportive Leadership and Performance Happiness

Organizing institution
HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht - Economics and Management
Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
€ 940.00

What is the secret of one of the world’s most successful companies? Google is well known as a best-practice for creating an extraordinary climate for innovation and performance happiness. In this course you will discover the key variables of leadership, their relation to innovation and how they stimulate workplace happiness and increased performance. Supported by a mix of lectures and company visits, students will work together and analyze ‘the Google way’. During the second week of the course students will be applying their newly found insights, getting out the door and working together with real companies in the Utrecht area. 

The business world is changing. New regulations, competitive markets and globalization are just a few of the examples of the always and fast-paced evolution within business. Experts are in agreement that nowadays innovation is a key driver for growth, and recent research by McKinsey found that no less than 94% of senior executives feel that people and corporate culture are the most important drivers of innovation. In this course we will focus on the vital and key role of leadership in that equation. Topics like “how do leaders enable others to innovate?”, “how do companies benefit from happy and motivated staff members?, and “how do leaders incorporate and benefit from the disruptive qualities of technology?” will be discussed, and give students new and valuable insights into the role of leadership in long-term organizational success.

This course will start with issues on personal and servant leadership, helping you to get familiar with some of the individual characteristics of leadership supporting innovation and performance happiness. In the first assignment students will work in teams and gain all the relevant and available information on leadership at Google, using a simple method of modelling success factors of organizations. For the second assignment each team will be connected to a company in the Utrecht area, get out the door and translate what their newly found insights could mean for this organization. During this assignment, teams will receive intense coaching from our lecturers combined with a workshop on the fundamentals of e-leadership and the growing importance of digital systems to business innovation. At the end of the course each team will present their results.  

The highly interactive approach, requires academic English skills at minimum intermediate level.

Please take a look at our facebook page for the latest information. 

NB: This course is part of the track "Innovation in European Business"

Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

Course director

Michael Makowski MSc


Michael Makowski MBA

Sandra Hendricks MSc

Marco Oteman MA

Target audience

This course is an interesting challenge for students enrolled in programmes on Business Administration, Marketing, and Finance, but is also open to bachelor and master students from other fields, as long as you have some background or a strong interest in business innovation. A good command of English is necessary.

Course aim

This course aims to provide you the opportunity to learn about leadership characteristics, their relation to innovation, performance happiness and long-term organizational success.

Study load

100 hr(s) lectures/field excursions + assignments (self-study)


Course fee
€ 940.00
Housing fee
€ 350.00

Housing through Utrecht Summer School

More information


Recommended combinations
Innovation in Europe: Challenges and Drivers
Innovation Lab: Co-creation and Service Design


Application deadline: 01 July 2019