Forging Effective Internal Partnerships to Fuel Innovation

June 20-21, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio
Join Us
Join Innovation Leader as we head to Cleveland for two days of site visits and learning activities at the most innovative companies in the world.

Our first Field Study in Ohio will cover a range of topics important to corporate innovation, strategy, and R&D leaders — with a special focus on how you create the right partnerships with business units and other functions to make innovation an everyday occurrence, not an isolated initiative.

How do you work with colleagues around the business to set objectives for an innovation program? How should they be involved in incremental, adjacent, and transformational innovation activities? How do you ensure that they become advocates — rather than adversaries? Our session leaders will include representatives from business units as well as functions like legal, HR, finance, and tech.

If those issues are relevant to you, you won't want to miss our Cleveland Field Study this June. As with all our Field Studies, this one is limited to registrants currently in a corporate role.

Site Visits


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Receiving 10+ million visitors from across the world, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates and archives the achievements of the most influential rock-and-roll musicians, producers, and engineers in history.

Join us as we tour six levels of rock-and-roll history and learn from President and CEO Greg Harris about how The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has created an external network to fuel their innovations.


American Greetings

Many people think of American Greetings as a purveyor of greeting cards and party goods, but as VP of Innovation Carol Miller describes it, the privately-held company is in the “meaningful connections” business, helping people make connections with family and friends. We'll tour their newly-built headquarters, participate in a workshop session led by Carol, and meet with other leaders of the business, including CMO Alex Ho.


Cleveland Clinic Innovations

Join us as we tour this world-renowned facility, and meet with the Executive Director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations (CCI), Peter O'Neill, who runs a team that transforms ideas to improve patient care into patents and licenses. Cleveland Clinic Innovations has been granted more than 850 patents, and the Clinic has been a source of breakthroughs since it was founded in 1920, including pioneering work in organ transplants, neuroscience, and cardiac surgery. CCI uses a unique approach to assess, protect, build, test, and market the most promising ideas of their 51,000+ caregivers.


Fortune Brands
Vice President of Innovation
Moisés Noreña
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
President and CEO
Greg Harris
MTD Products
Sr. Director, Customer Engagement
Jason Belsito
Philips Healthcare
Head of Advance Innovation
Bill Gaussa
Chief Innovation Officer
J. Scott Sanchez
Vice President of Innovation
Jean Finnegan
Energizer Holdings
Director Open Innovation & Emerging Tech
Emily Riley
MTD Products
VP of Multi-Channel Sales
Roy Keating
American Greetings
VP Corporate Innovation
Carol Miller
Business Development Director
April Bertram
Cleveland Clinic Innovations
Executive Director
Peter O’Neill

Register to Participate

PLEASE NOTE: The Field Study is for corporate folks only. Consultants, advisors, software vendors, and others who market products or services to corporate executives may not attend the Field Study, and registration fees will be refunded. All registrants to be approved by Innovation Leader; full refunds will be made in the event of conflict. Questions? Contact us »

Why Attend an Innovation Leader Event


Don't take our word for it. Listen to your peers from other large organizations who have attended Innovation Leader events in 2017.

Working in corporate innovation can feel like you are on an island alone at times. It is refreshing and inspiring to be with others who are in similar circumstances.

SVP and Head of Customer Experience Insights, Wells Fargo

A rare opportunity to learn ... with a broad range of innovation professionals. Natural collaboration built right into the structure of the event.

Innovation Director at $183B telecommunications company

At the end of two full days, I find myself wishing this was a three day event!! That has never happened to me before.

Director, Breakthrough Innovation at Stanley Black & Decker

I left very energized and inspired by all the creativity showcased, best practices shared and relationships made.

VP, Brand & Culinary Innovation at Dunkin’ Brands

Perfect [event] to facilitate candid dialogue across industries around the opportunities, realities and challenges of real innovation.

VP Innovation at Nationwide

It was amazing! Being able to see and learn from how other great companies innovate is a singularly unique opportunity.

Innovation lead at large insurance company

A wonderfully intimate and meaningful networking and knowledge sharing opportunity. I learned a lot that I will immediately bring back to my group.

GM Innovation at Goodyear

The Innovation Leader Field Studies treat leaders and peers to open up an amazing creative and learning environment.

UX Designer, Arthrex, Inc.

This is my third IL event, and each time, I learn something new, and meet incredibly smart and genuine people it a fantastic opportunity to learn, network and have fun!

Senior Director at Walmart


Space is limited to 60 corporate innovation, strategy and R&D professionals. That’s everyone from Chief Innovation Officers and VPs of Innovation, to Directors of Innovation and R&D Managers. If you’re responsible for new products or services inside your company, you’re probably the right fit.
No. This is a pitch-free zone. Aside from one Innovation Leader partners who has helped us plan and run the Deep Dive, we do not admit consultants, advisors, software firms, or others who might try to pitch you something. This is a safe environment.
No need for a car! We take care of all travel between site visits, and we’ll always make sure you have a way to get back to a central hotel at the end of each day.
No. This is a presentation-free zone. No PowerPoints or presentations of any kind.
We will supply transportation to the airport at the end of the event, typically by charter bus. If you leave before the end of the event, however, we can help get you an Uber or an old-school cab.
Yes! Never hesitate to reach out to event guru Ellen Juskewitch with your dietary requirements, The sooner the better though … deadline is seven days before the event so we can arrange with our caterer(s).
Absolutely, we will list a few hotels here that we recommend for your stay, stay tuned (but you are responsible for your own travel reservations.)
Business casual, with the emphasis on casual. We typically do a lot of walking from site to site, so please wear comfortable shoes.
No. All our sessions are confidential and off-the-record.
Maybe: Depending on the venues, some of the locations we visit may require that you sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. We’re blessed that our members open up their headquarters and innovation labs to our our members. But, some have regulatory and compliance obligations, or strategic concerns, that require all visitors to sign NDAs. Thank you in advance for honoring the requests of our hosts.

Hotel & Travel Information

Arrival — If you are flying in to the Field Study, we recommend arriving on Tuesday, June 19, as the program will begin early on Wednesday, June 20.

Hotels — As most corporations have loyalty and reward programs for specific hotel chains, we have not reserved a room block for the Field Study. Our recommended hotels are listed below:

    The Metropolitan at the 9
    2017 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44115 [ Map ]
    (216) 239-1200

    The Westin Cleveland Downtown
    777 Saint Clair Avenue NE, Cleveland, OH, 44114 [ Map ]
    (216) 771-7700

    Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade
    420 Superior Avenue East, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 44114 [ Map ]
    (216) 575-1234

Departure — The program will end in the early evening on Thursday, June 21.

Questions — If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ellen Dolan at or call us at (855) 585-0800.

Field Guides

Many thanks to our Field Guides for their support and expertise in developing this Field Study:
Nottingham Spirk: The Business Innovation & Product Design Firm: For over 44 years, Nottingham Spirk has developed hundreds of patented products that have generated $50 billion in sales for Fortune 500 companies. The firm offers a full-service Vertical InnovationTM process - from market research, user testing, product design and development, mechanical, electrical and software engineering, to prototyping and support for full commercialization.
Imaginatik: "World's first" full-service innovation firm, supporting global organizations seeking to grow and deliver results.
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