Sheena holding a mic and smiling whilst teaching a class

Cookie-cutter approaches to learning no longer work.

What I want to impart to my students is an ability to think bigger – and glean insights that an algorithm cannot.

Courses at Columbia Business School

Think Bigger

All innovation – in entrepreneurship, corporations, any field or discipline, even our personal lives – begins with a creative spark. Many of us want that next great idea, but we often forget an important part: how?

Think Bigger is a six step method for innovation that helps answer this question. Modern neuroscience and cognitive psychology now understand how the human brain develops creative ideas, and Think Bigger is the first to apply this new science as an innovation method.

A core element of the method – and of the human condition – is that successful innovation, regardless of vocation or profession, depends on an innovator’s desire. Solving a problem that people are passionate about is a way to give them meaning, and makes their company, organization, or community better.

Think Bigger Innovations

Large businesses and companies recognize and acknowledge the need to innovate, but often struggle with corporate entrepreneurship at scale. Think Bigger Innovations will address this issue, particularly around innovations with societal benefits. As part of this initiative, S.T. Lee Professor of Business Sheena Iyengar, in collaboration with Shiva Rajgopal, will run The Think Bigger Summit, an annual (or bi-annual) forum.

Leadership & Organizational Change

Today’s leaders have to operate in an increasingly complex and uncertain world. Successful leadership requires three things: a clear vision, the ability to inspire others, and the skills to execute your action plan.

By introducing students to a framework for understanding themselves, their organizations, and the performance of people and groups within them, this course helps them develop the skills and knowledge necessary to become more effective leaders.


I really enjoyed Professor Iyengar’s class Think Bigger, where she challenged everyone to identify a big problem to solve. The class provided exposure to different ideation tools and access to industry thought leaders.

Heather Li, former “Think Bigger” student

Professor Iyengar is a magnificent teacher and mentor – an expert in her field who promotes and nurtures creative thinking and perspective taking. Her interdisciplinary approach and interests open new spaces for ideas and ways of investigating issues that matter today. It was during my time studying and researching with Professor Iyengar that I truly found my identity and confidence as an academic, as well as developed my research interests. I will carry Professor Iyengar’s influence with me every step of my career.

James Quay, former student and research assistant

Honors & Awards

EMBA Commitment to Teaching Excellence Award

Columbia Business School
April 2013

World’s Best B-School Professors

Poets & Quants
October 2012

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Core Teaching

Columbia Business School
September 2012

Innovation in the Curriculum Teaching Award

Group Award
Columbia Business School
Fall 2005