CAS in Managing disruptive innovation


​Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Managing disruptive innovation



We are in an age of disruption where no industry is spared. This has resulted in an imperative for company leaders to create capability in disruption management.


One year can change the fate of a company. Although Quartz technology was disruptive for watches, digital imaging was disruptive for photography, and mobile devices were disruptive for computers, these disruptions took decades to materialize.


In recent years we saw Uber, AirBnB, Zipcar, Dollar Shave Club and many more such disruptors emerge even more rapidly and in different industries. Leaders no longer have the luxury of responding to disruptions as they arrive on the scene. Firms like Blackberry were caught unprepared when Apple introduced the iPhone and were subsequently squeezed out of the market. Blackberry was not able to manage disruption. Having this capability should enable firms to anticipate disruptions and to create responses for these events beforehand.




​Disruption management imperatives

“ Share your skills and your know-how with anyone who has an interest in the fine art of breakthrough innovation . ” Elmar Mock, Co-inventor Swatch & Founder Creaholic.



“ Be first, different and unique through disruptive innovation. ”

Jean-Claude Biver, CEO TAG Heuer & Tublot SA.


“ Many innovations first encounter some form of resistance to change, but can ultimately change the way we live our lives. ”
Steve Salom, General Manager Uber Switzerland


​"Leading organizations understand that staying the course does not guarantee continued success. Just because your current business model is widely used and profitable doesn’t mean it will serve you well in the future. Our program in disruptive innovation is a way to help executives, entrepreneurs and managers change. It is organized around a set of management, operations, and strategy theories.


Using case studies to test proven theories, we help participants predict real-world outcomes. Over the course of the program, they will learn to address business problems using theories rather than assumptions. Equipped with this knowledge, they’ll be prepared to overcome challenges and lead breakthrough change.


The reward for success is that when successful, you have to adapt to changes in competition, technology, and customer desire. Ironically, the better you are at what you’re currently doing, the harder it is to adapt. The astonishing fact is that 76 percent of large companies stall in their growth and never start again. That’s because doing the same things that made you successful won’t keep you successful.


The word ‘ disruption ’ is commonly overused. Things that are inconvenient are not disruptive. So our first job is to demystify that term. You’ll leave the program understanding prescriptively what disruption means and what it doesn’t.


How can you tell when a potential disruptor is going to be successful ? Who is your ideal target customer, and how can selecting the wrong customers kill you ? How do you set strategy in a world that is changing so rapidly ?
We’ll explore all of these questions.




From music to steel, we’ll review several dynamic case studies from diverse industries. One of our faculty members, Jean-Marie Ayer, will even share his own experience as cofounder and former CEO of Dartfish, Jean-Marie Ayer. Or the co-inventor of Swatch and founder of Creaholic, Elmar Mock, will share his insights in launching breakthrough innovation. "


Éric Décosterd





This executive program serves the critical need to manage disruption effectively and ahead of time. By offering access to thought leaders, and working on disruptive innovation projects, the program prepares leaders to better address the challenges ahead.


This program brings together cutting edge knowledge, tools, and the opportunity to learn-by-doing to help master disruption. It draws lessons from disruptions in over 30 industries to build a set of skills. Each participant will have the opportunity to build a concrete operative case to address disruptive innovation in his/her business environment.



Executives with managerial experience from various industries. The program will be customized to address the participation mix and provides a unique opportunity to meet and network with key actors of innovation in Switzerland and Silicon Valley or the Boston area.






The program will :

• Help you build deep knowledge of disruption.

• Provide skills to predict and respond to disruption.

• Expose you to over 25 strategies to deal with disruption.

• Teach you how to create disruptive innovations.

• Provide leadership skills in managing disruption and implementing disruptive projects.

• Equip you with sales skills to persuade leadership to back your strategic solutions.

• Support you in building your own case and implementation plan of a disruptive innovation.

• Provide you with the unique opportunity to network with leaders and peers involved in disruptive  innovation.




You will be expected to apply your learning in your own project with coaching and guidance from faculty members. As the program continues you will not only build new skills but will also develop a project report adapted to your own business.



An important component of this program is a one week long trip to the United States of America. During this trip you will witness many companies within a geographic cluster known for disruptive innovations. You will see the efforts being made by disruptors and disruptees to enhance your understanding of disruption. Beyond the disruptors and disruptees, you will also witness other actors within disruption ecosystems that play an important role.


This visit to a fascinating and fast moving world of disruptive innovations promises to give you a first hand view of disruption that is hard to replicate with the confines of Switzerland. Both San Francisco and Boston boast of ecosystems of disruptive innovators across different industries. Depending on the participants and their industry backgrounds, the trip would involve a visit to either San Francisco and Silicon Valley (13th to 19th February).  




Through a mix of in-class and online learning, international site visits, and a 5-month project, the program will challenge you to achieve the agile mindset needed to manage disruption. The program uses live interactive online sessions with thought leaders, case studies, media reports, interactive audio and video resources along with original research, tools and methodologies, to enhance your skills. 

The program runs three parallel tracks to introduce and reinforce the concepts and tools used in mastering disruption. Each module will be introduced using in- class exercises and reinforced with online resources as well as lectures with experts based abroad. During the program you will visit San Francisco and Silicon Valley  to get first hand experience of a cluster known for disruption.
The program will also provide you with a toolkit in the form of a 150-page workbook on managing disruption to guide you well beyond this course. It promises to be your companion over the years as you handle multiple disruptive forces in your business. This toolkit is developed by one of our own professors who wrote the original book on disruption (The Dark Side of Innovation). The toolkit takes you beyond the original book into the nitty gritty of implementing the methodology in a systematic manner whether on your own or with a project team.






The 6-month program will include 8 days of face-to-face time, 5 days of online learning, a 5-day visit to a hotbed of disruption in Boston or Silicon Valley, and 5 months to develop a long, individual project.

The program starts beginning of September and will finish in February 2017.



Wednesday 1.30 pm - 4.30 pm ; 5 pm - 8 pm ;exceptionally Saturday morning 9 am - 12 am




November 13-19, 2016





Candidates completing the program are awarded an official Certificate of Advanced Studies. A post-bachelor degree and related professional experience are required for entry.




The complete costs for the program are CHF 9’500.-. This includes the course fee, course material, project coaching, and accommodation and local transportation from hotel to sites in San Francisco or Silicon Valley.




Enrollment is open until June 30, 2016. To foster appropriate interactions and learning during the program, the number of participants is limited: first come, first served. 




Jean-Marie Ayer

Haute école de gestion Fribourg

Ch. du Musée 4

CH-1700 Fribourg


T: 026 429 63 77






Disruptive_innovation_16.pdf Disruptive innovation 




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Haute école de gestion | Ch. du Musée 4 | 1700 Fribourg | T : +41 26 429 63 70 | F : +41 26 429 63 75 | |
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