Innovation and Images: Exploring the Intersections of Leadership and Photography


Great leaders ask great questions—of themselves and others. The capacity to ask the right questions, unlocking valuable new insights and solutions, forms the very essence of creative leadership. This new course uses photography as a powerful mode of inquiry into how participants observe, make decisions, experiment, test, and execute.

  • Program Details
  • Takeaways
  • Participants
  • Faculty
  • Schedule
  • Resources
  • Reviews

Innovation and Images: Exploring the Intersections of Leadership and Photography
Certificate Track: Management and Leadership
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Tuition: $4,500 (excluding accommodations)
Program Days (for certificate credit): 3

View Course Brochure

Receive email updates on Innovation and Images: Exploring the Intersections of Leadership and Photography

Save Program

As a business innovator, you are constantly creating. Like an artist, you must generate ideas, see the big picture, and communicate that vision to others. And yet, with the constraints of time, budget, and resources, the focus on urgency often leads to stagnation and stunts our capacity to innovate. By changing the way we perceive challenges, specifically through a camera lens, it is possible to discover new ways to engage with your team, your organization, and the world. 

So how can becoming a better photographer make you a better leader?

Photographing the world can help expand our observations skills by forcing us to reframe what we see. It can also cause us to experiment with new ways of doing things and increase our ability to interact with people unlike ourselves. Most of all, photography can force us to ask questions about the things we don't know that we don’t know, providing critical new insights and ways of viewing the world. Becoming a better photographer can unlock our capacity to ask the right questions—ones that lead to innovation and transformative change. Innovation and Images exemplifies MIT's learning-by-doing approach, helping executives better understand their leadership strengths and weaknesses through the medium of digital photography and technology.

In this three-day workshop,  Hal Gregersen, Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center and Sam Abell, world-renowned National Geographic photographer, will help you uncover untapped aspects of yourself—both as a leader and as a photographer. They will teach you how to ask substantially different questions and by so doing, change your leadership impact.

As senior executives we often focus so much on our urgent work that we miss the chance to spark critical, strategic inspiration. This can easily result in stagnation and stunt our capacity to innovate. But by changing the way we look through a camera lens, we can engage our organizations, and the world, in entirely new ways. This program will help you draw deeper connections between your work as a leader and photographer. Each day faculty will review photographs taken by participants during the course to uncover fresh insights into your leadership and photography journey.

This program is offered in association with Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. This course is limited to 15 participants. As part of the application process, applicants are required to submit a portfolio of 10-15 recent images in .jpg format to


Participant Testimonial

"This was an excellent and very different program. I encourage every leader to take this program in order to have a different mindset and perspective of how leadership can be addressed in a different way." -Pedro L.

IDEAS OUT LOUD with Hal Gregersen

Hal Gregersen, Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center, gives a presentation on how to build a better business in just four minutes per day as a part of the IDEAS OUT LOUD series.

The Life of a Photograph

Veteran National Geographic photographer Sam Abell offers a look inside the heart and mind of a master photographer. (video)

Participant Testimonials

"A daring, engaging and intense workshop, taught by two world-class experts in their respective fields. Hal and Sam are both experts and great teachers. They worked together seamlessly to both challenge and encourage us, no matter our level of expertise in either discipline. Your passion for these two topics will be greatly rewarded.  Highly recommended!"
Stan Baginskis, Senior Director, Architecture and Growth Strategy, Chief Technology and Architecture Office at Cisco

“Innovative Leadership and Photography has been the most powerful and inspirational course I attended in my life, giving me the right tips for my job. Photography is used not just as a metaphor for leadership but as way to improve leadership: observing reality, thinking solutions, making decisions, having vision, stepping back to see and reflect, choosing the right moment, learning from mistakes, going deeper into the meaning of what we are doing. Thanks to two great masters the workshop has been every day both surprising and effective."
Enrico Rimoldi, Communication Director, YBP, Milan, Italy