Igniting Insights: Innovation Leadership

A 7-week virtual program designed to help leaders unlock the mindset and skillset to lead innovation. Now accepting applications for the Spring 2024 cohort.


Powered by Marquette University’s Innovation Alley and the FIELD Center

Program Overview

Effective leadership of people and innovation requires a recalibration of both personal mindsets and collective team mindsets to move beyond just meeting stated objectives towards discovery-driven problem solving, learning, innovation and growth. Our 7-week program gives established and emerging leaders the necessary tools needed to effectively lead innovation within their organizations, communities, and beyond.

World Class Instructors

Learn from professionals that have real-world experiences and proven track records.

Top University

Marquette has been helping professionals reach their full potential for over 100 years.

Program Benefits

Advance Your Career & Become a Leader

Gain the confidence and increase your capacity to lead innovation within your organization or community.

Grow Your Professional Network

Surround yourself with a diverse group of people that are working towards a common goal.

Increase Your Earning Potential

Invest in yourself and work towards higher success by gaining tools and insights that businesses are looking for.

  • Innovation starts with the mindset to find a better way, and is primarily about people not process.

    Chuck Swoboda

    Featured Innovation Leader

    Chairman of Vast Therapeutics and Author of the Innovator's Spirit: Discover the Mindset to Pursue the Impossible

  • Our unique leadership development programs inspire learners to think creatively, collaborate in innovative ways, and ultimately, act boldly to create new value and solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

    Kris Ropella

    Featured Innovation Leader

    Dean of the Opus College of Engineering

Weekly Themes & Program Outline

1/29/24 - 2/4/24

People are the heart of leadership and innovation. The power of this program will be rooted in the strength of the relationships between members of the cohort. This week, participants will come together to create a virtual community characterized by mutual trust that enables everyone to feel comfortable speaking up and bringing their whole self to the experience.

2/5/24 - 2/11/24

Leadership is personal. So is innovation. The goal this week is to equip participants with an intentional framework for developing their leadership capacity and confidence. Participants will clearly articulate – for themselves and others – their personal aspirations for the impact they hope to make in the world through innovation.

2/12/24 - 2/18/24

Innovation. Companies need it, products claim it, and everyone seems to want it. But saying you’re innovative doesn’t make it so. Technology and processes don’t drive innovation. People do. Innovation requires leadership from people who can see a different future – a better way – and are driven to make that vision a reality. This week, participants will gain a clear sense of what innovation is, what it is not, and what is required to make it happen.

2/19/24 - 2/25/24

Everyday behaviors and practices differentiate innovation leaders from managers. This week, participants will learn what innovators do differently to generate new ideas, solve real problems and create value. Through an understanding of their personal innovation profile, participants will then chart a course for intentional development of the discovery skills required for innovation.

2/26/24 - 3/3/24

It takes courage to challenge the status quo and do something new. Fear of failure often prevents us from taking the risks required to do what has never been done before. This week, participants will explore their own comfort with the mindsets of proven innovators.

3/4/24 - 3/10/24

Individuals rarely move from idea to impact – invention to innovation – alone. It takes a team of dedicated people in relentless pursuit of a common outcome to create value. This week, participants will learn what it takes to cultivate the collective capacity to innovate with others.

3/11/24 - 3/17/24

This program is about innovation, leadership, people, and change. But, it’s not enough to cognitively understand these concepts. This week, participants will commit to an action plan for intentional and ongoing innovation leadership development that they can enact in their personal and professional lives. This plan will be rooted in their desire to increase their capacity and confidence to lead innovation, drawing out the inner spirit required to pursue the impossible.

Spring 2024 program will run from January 29th through March 17th.

A kickoff and orientation event for the program will be held on Zoom from 12:00 pm -1:30 pm on Tuesday, January 23rd.

Program Facilitators

Andrea Minkley


Andrea serves as the associate director of engineering and innovation leadership development at Marquette University. She assists with the design and implementation of leadership development programs, including the Excellence in Leadership Program. Andrea strives to help others cultivate the knowledge, values, attitudes, skills, and behaviors to be effective leaders of change in their communities.

Kate Trevey


Kate leads university-wide efforts to develop the leadership capacity of future innovators and change agents. She directs and teaches courses in the Excellence in Leadership Program and facilitates corporate innovation and leadership development workshops for technical and engineering teams. She was named a 2019 Woman of Influence by the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Proven Innovators

John Zeratsky

Proven Innovator

John has worked for Google, YouTube, and GV (Google Ventures), where he helped develop the Sprint method. He’s written two bestselling books with his friend Jake Knapp and published articles in The Wall Street Journal, TIME, Harvard Business Review, Wired, Fast Company, and other outlets. This has led to work with Netflix, Associated Bank, IDEO, Caterpillar, Schneider Electric, Airbnb, and many others.

Chuck Swoboda

Proven Innovator

Chuck served as Chairman and CEO of Cree for 16 years, where his team successfully led the LED lighting revolution by creating new products and focusing on solving old problems in completely new ways. He has seen what it takes to make the impossible possible. Under his leadership, the company grew from just over $6 million in annual revenue in 1993 to over $1.6 billion.

Past Speakers

Kelly Piacsek

Vice President

Research at Rogers Behavioral Health

Kathryn Clouse

Senior Manager of Innovation

Kohler Co.

Kyle Hagge

Lead Community Manager

Morning Brew

What past students are saying

I would recommend this program for anyone serious about leadership and stepping out of their comfort zone. The up-close interaction with experienced innovation leaders – hearing both challenges and success stories – is something that cannot be replicated in a book or a podcast.

Jack Fleming

Client Executive

Marsh McLennan Agency

My favorite part of the program was the weekly meetings and assignments with my small team. It was a great opportunity to network with people outside of my organization. I was able to learn something from each of them. I never thought teamwork would come so easily with others outside of my organization and while working online. It was a pleasant and valuable experience!

Robbin Bankhead

Field Service Supervisor

We Energies

My favorite part of the program was the wide array of professionals, industries and “stage of careers” that were brought together in our small groups; the leadership-focused environment created a unique opportunity to challenge ourselves and each other as we evaluated opportunities to grow and improve – personally and professionally.

Ryan M. Agnew


Pivot Resource Group, LLC


For an investment of $1,765 you'll learn first hand from proven innovators and Marquette University facilitators, building the skill set and network you need to become a better innovation leader, increase your earning potential, and transform the workplaces you are a part of. There are only limited spots available for each cohort and will fill quickly so be sure to apply today.


Frequently Asked Questions

Companies need innovation, products claim it, and everyone seems to want it. But innovation is not driven by technology and processes, it is driven by people. Innovation requires leadership from people who can see a different future and are driven to move beyond boundary conditions. We welcome participants from diverse backgrounds and diverse industries. This program has been designed for rising professionals with a few years work experience that want to develop the skillset to grow as innovation leaders in their organization.

Igniting Insights: Innovation Leadership is a 7-week completely virtual program. The weekly time commitment for participants is up to 5 hours each week.

This program has been designed to engage participants through three different types of online (synchronous & asynchronous) learning experiences. On a weekly basis, participants will:

1. Grow through 2-3 hours of self-directed learning. For example, engaging with timely and relevant articles, consuming, digesting and reflecting on media such as podcasts and video content, and completing assessments to better understand yourself and your innovation leadership profile.

2. Learn alongside proven innovators 1-hour to 1.5-hour a week through live virtual events, learning about their approach to innovation in their own careers, their successes, and failures along the way. These will happen from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (CST).

3. Engage with a small group of peers for 1-hour a week. We believe in the power of the cohort because learning social activity. Connecting and reflecting with others helps deepen your understanding of the content, helps broaden your perspective through hearing others’ professional experience, and will ignite deeper insights into how to integrate and apply the knowledge you gain. Team’s will identify a mutually available time to meet each week.

All interested participants must submit a brief application which is reviewed by a small team of Marquette University faculty and staff. There is no fee to apply and no transcript is required. There is a limited number of spaces available per cohort.

A certificate of completion is provided to participants at the end of the 7-weeks. Ongoing networking opportunities will be made available to program participants.

This program is facilitated 100% online. Participants must have reliable access to the internet. Participants should be prepared to interact with their peers, facilitators, and guest innovators through Zoom. The program also relies on a web-based community platform Circle.

Any questions can be directed to innovationalley@marquette.edu.

The investment for this program is $1,765.

Questions or want to learn more? Email us today.