The Economic and Social Science Research Council’s Innovation Agenda singled out “more innovation” as a key weapon for UK companies to outperform world competitors. This research explores this Innovation Agenda from an HE perspective, and reports on a study of a final year undergraduate course in Creative Management. Students, in syndicate groups, were asked to invent their own business idea. By simulating make‐believe situations in the classroom, we aimed to approximate feelings purportedly experienced by business managers as they innovate, such as “creative tension” and “strategic discomfort”. This article argues that preparedness for creative tension is now a necessity for business graduates. Additionally, it proposes that an awareness of discomfiting strategic effects of renewal is worthwhile. For example, how might students have coped with the shock to IBM during the demise of the computer mainframe market?
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