Designed an Executive-level Innovation Leadership Programme

We designed an experiential Strategic Innovation Leadership Programme to help the global executive leadership team of Sony Music Entertainment learn and implement strategic innovation methods to create an innovation thesis for experimentation while fostering intrapreneurship.


Sony Music Entertainment is one of the world’s leading music and entertainment organisations, owning a number of preeminent record labels such as Columbia Records, RCA, Ministry of Sound, SyCo Music, Relentless and Insanity Records, who collectively have signed some of the most well-known global superstars, including David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Arcade Fire, Wu-Tang Clan, A$AP Rocky and Travis Scott, to name a few. They operate on the cutting edge of musical entertainment and content creation, partnering with artists to push the art of the possible.


Sony Music Entertainment (SME) is living through a rapidly changing era for global entertainment. With the rise of digital service providers like Spotify and Apple Music, audiences are enjoying often unlimited and ubiquitous access to content. SME operates across the value chain, and those rapid changes have brought about increasing need to innovate.

To stay ahead of the curve, SME asked Studio Zao to design a strategic innovation leadership programme to help the global executive leadership team both learn and implement strategic innovation methods to create an innovation thesis for experimentation.


We designed a bespoke programme consisting of a 4-day innovation sprint followed by a number of dedicated innovation coaching sessions; rooted in the realities of the business and market conditions at the time, as well as with the individual styles and personalities of the 10-person executive leadership team in mind. We approached the design process iteratively, working in partnership with the client to formulate the design principles and testing it with key internal stakeholders to get feedback. 

The 4-day sprint incorporated techniques from a range of disciplines to bridge the gap between the SME of today and the SME of the future, covering a range of topics — such as experiential learning psychology, speculative design thinking techniques and lean startup methodologies — analysing future drivers, consumer preferences and value chains, as well as innovation portfolio, business model analysis and key shifts required for innovation enablement and leadership:

  • Day 1 — Envision the Future
  • Day 2 — Baseline the Today
  • Day 3 — Place Strategic Bets
  • Day 4 — Formulate the Roadmap


The programme enabled Sony Music Entertainment to engage with senior leaders across the entire organisation to kickstart a conversation about a structured portfolio of tangible and testable global strategic hypotheses. 

This constituted the foundation for upcoming innovation programmes that involve Sony Music’s top global talents to devise and launch a series of innovation experiments validating transformative customer propositions across the value chain, while upskilling to think and behave as intrapreneurs.

What our clients say

“Working with Studio Zao has been a real pleasure. Not only do they bring diverse and innovative strategic thinking but they also truly partner with us, share insights and take on feedback to co-create a great output. They also understand the importance of talent in corporate innovation. I look forward to continuing to work with them on future projects.”

How to put intrapreneurship into practice?

Our brand new Intrapreneurship Guide covers 6 lessons on intrapreneurship, including practical tips and tools, valuable both to Leaders and Intrapreneurs looking to deploy innovation effectively.

Internal Innovation & Intrapreneurship Guide

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