The Professional Development Series

Live, highly-interactive skill-building workshops designed especially for change-makers and innovators working in large organizations — led by the world's best teachers.

Workshop photo
Development Series

Online professional development desperately needed some innovation. If you are looking to add to your skills, advance your career, increase your influence, and get better at managing through a rapidly-changing environment, we've designed the IL Professional Development Series just for you. If you're easily bored by passive videos and unengaging webinars, even better.

Everyone teaching in Innovation Leader's Professional Development Series has worked in large organizations... led teams... and been responsible for delivering actual financial results, changes in ways of working, and economic growth to their companies. And everyone has previously led workshops at an Innovation Leader in-person event and received top 5th percentile feedback scores.

Every workshop, like our in-person events, is designed to deliver the absolute maximum VPM (value-per-minute), because we know your time is precious. Join us for just one workshop, or get a discount by purchasing the whole series. Current Innovation Leader members also receive discounts on registration.

The goal? Leveling up your knowledge, capabilities, and the impact you can deliver in your organization.

Upcoming Workshops

Suzanne Hamill

Upgrade Your Online Meetings: Design Them to Be More Playful, Productive and Human

June 11, 9:00-11:00 AM ET • Led by Suzanne Hamill, Former Head of Design Thinking, Fidelity Investments; Instructor/Coach, Stanford

In this highly-interactive workshop, you will learn practical approaches to improving the quality and outcomes of your online meetings. We'll discuss how to:

  • Set up a successful meeting, and think about your role in leading it
  • Get your team energized and connected
  • Elicit active participation, brainstorming, and decision-making
  • Prepare for hybrid meetings that include in-office participants and remote participants
  • Design one of your upcoming meetings by collaborating with others.

For more details: Watch the video preview.

Taylor Cone & Suzi Hamill

Design Sprint: How Might We Reinvent the Office?

June 23, 12:00-3:00 PM ET • Led by Taylor Cone, CEO, Lightshed LLC and Design Coach, Stanford & Suzanne Hamill, Former Head of Design Thinking, Fidelity Investments

We have an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine our work and our lives. Let's not blow it. How do we “return” to work? How will we keep our employees and customers safe? How will we fix old, broken systems? How will we reinvent work? Join us for a 3-hour interactive design sprint where you will:

  • Identify the highest-impact opportunities for your organization
  • Rapidly prototype and develop potential solutions
  • Experience a method for actively involving employees and customers in reimagining work and their relationship with your organization
  • Collaborate with other leaders and organizations.

Notes: This design sprint will also include an optional hour from 12-1 PM on Friday, June 26th to present some of the progress you've made with your team. You don't need to be part of a team to join this, but if you'd like to form a team with colleagues to focus on your specific workplace issues, you are welcome to do that. For more on this workshop, see Cone and Hamill's post on 19 Questions to Inspire Your Team to Rethink Work.

Evan Schwartz

Storytelling Skills for Innovators

June 25, 1:00-3:00 PM ET • Led by Evan Schwartz, Author and Former Director of Storytelling, Innosight; Former Chief Story Officer, Walker Digital

Stories can entertain, advance ideas and values, win resources, and cut through media clutter. But storytelling can also help organizations navigate treacherous waters. This workshop will help you build your own storytelling and communication skills, to ensure that your ideas get the resources and support they need. Workshop leader Evan Schwartz has written for PBS, Harvard Business Review, and Wired Magazine, and his books include "The Last Lone Inventor: A Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television," and "Finding Oz: How L. Frank Baum Discovered the Great American Story."

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Event FAQs

Who participates in these workshops?

These workshops are designed expressly for innovation, strategy, emerging technology, design, new product development, and R&D professionals working in large organizations. If you’re responsible for future vision, growth, or new products / services inside your company, you’re probably the right fit.

How will I participate in these workshops?

We are using Zoom videoconferencing software for this workshop series. This software is free, and easy to install on your work laptop, a personal laptop, or even an iPad or tablet. In advance of the workshop, download either the Zoom client for your operating system, or the mobile app for a tablet or iPad here. You'll receive a calendar invite for any workshops you register for, and it will include a link that will take you directly into the workshop at the scheduled time. Just click the link when you're ready to join... or enter the nine-digit Meeting ID when you open the Zoom app.

Here's a quick video that shares five tips on participating in one of our virtual meetings on Zoom.

Will you bore me with PowerPoint?

No. While some workshops may include slides, we've asked our workshop leaders to tilt the balance towards activities, exercises, breakout discussions, and Q&A.

Will anyone be there pitching me?

No. This is a pitch-free zone. Workshops are designed with one goal in mind: your learning and development.

What is the code of conduct at these online workshops?

We are dedicated to creating a professional, safe, welcoming, and harassment-free environment for all our attendees — whether online or in-person. Please see our complete code of conduct here.

Can I get a refund?

Workshop ticket purchases are final. However, you may substitute or transfer your registration to a colleague up to the start time of the workshop — just let us know, so we have the new participant's contact info and they are included on the calendar invite. Please email

What is Innovation Leader?

If you’re working to make change happen inside a large organization, Innovation Leader was created especially for you.

We create downloadable templates and tools; report on what the world’s best companies are doing; and convene your peers to share best practices, in conference calls, webcasts, and at live events. Everything we do is geared to helping you deliver impact in your organization, whether you work in strategy, R&D, new ventures, design, technology, or innovation.

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