Innovation Leadership Accelerator: A 12 Week Intensive Program

Transforming growing practitioners into empowered organizational leaders.

The ILA program is built for those who believe that innovation is not just about launching new products and services. It’s about creating trust and the safe space for inspiration and performance, so we can lead our teams to solve the bigger challenges, together. We created this program to move past one-off workshops and get people into the deep work of transformation.

Thank you for your interest in joining us in this journey. Applications close August 9th.


The Program Pillars

The ILA is designed to support your leap from skilled practitioner to a courageous leader and visionary within your organization. The program is designed to create lasting impact for you and your organization through the program’s expert coaching as well as the curated community: you will be learning  side-by-side with other dynamic leaders.

The Program is built on four pillars of leadership.

Facilitation Mastery: The skill to plan and lead any gathering of any size.

Self-Mastery: The ability to know yourself and manage yourself

Applied Design Thinking: From Workshops to real work, the confidence to lead Design Sprints of any length and lead teams to real outcomes that deliver real business value.

Coaching Mindset: We believe in the power of coaching to help people grow. Coaching others takes confidence in your own abilities and learning to be comfortable in ambiguity. This also means the courage to allow others to coach you.

Who Attends and Why?

Because innovation leadership is a cross-functional team sport, the ILA program thrives from its diversity of attendee experience and backgrounds.

Creative People

An explosive growth of leadership roles is happening within Product, Design, Research, and Digital -- exciting but also the group that have had the least guidance and support in their careers.

Sales People

Sales, Account Management and Marketing serve as voice of the customer. Innovation starts in the areas of the organization closest to the customer.

Operations People

Innovation is created and adopted across a work force because of the insights, collaboration, and support from leaders within HR, Finance, Legal, and Operations.

Your Coaches


Jay Melone is the founder of New Haircut, a product innovation firm and leader in design sprints. He helps organizations fall in love with the products they make and how they make them. His approach makes innovation trusting, real, and achievable.

Jay has 20 years of deep product expertise, helping organizations like Rosetta Stone, Pearson, and Papa Johns build amazing products & cultures of work.


Daniel designs conversations for a living. An independent design facilitator and coach, he works with teams and organizations to frame and sustain productive and collaborative conversations. He’s worked with clients of all shapes and sizes on product, service and organizational innovation.

He hosts The Conversation Factory podcast and is the author of the upcoming book, “How Conversations Work” a handbook for changemakers and innovators.

Expert Mentors

Community is crucial to growth as a leader, that’s why we’re inviting some of our favorite advisers and collaborators to join us for the workshop intensives and to host deep dives during our coaching calls.


 Meeta Patel is the founder of Design Catalyst. She brings combined design thinking & business thinking expertise to deliver deeply impactful corporate innovation. Meeta was previously the Global VP of Design Thinking at SAP.


 Helge Hellberg coaches people in leadership positions or people who desire to get there – women and men who realize their self-responsibility to create exactly the professional and personal fulfillment they want.


Bree Groff is a transformation expert and Principal at SYPartners. She’s on a mission to help companies and people not just embrace change, but get good at it. Bree holds an MS in Organizational Learning and Change from Northwestern University, and is a visiting lecturer at Northwestern and Parsons.


 Jim Kalbach is a noted author, speaker, and instructor in user experience design, information architecture, and strategy. He is currently Head of Customer Experience at MURAL, the leading online whiteboard. Jim has worked with eBay, Audi, SONY, Elsevier Science, Lexis Nexis, and Citrix.


What other leaders say about our workshops:


"Such a fantastic workshop! I learned so much and really walked away with a new mindset"

 Kai Haley

Lead of Design Relations and Sprint Master Academy Google


"What a phenomenal experience. I'm now completely re-inspired about what's possible!"

Damon Pieri

Director of Product Management at Pearson


“Your session was one of the most valuable I’ve been to in years."

Holly Thorsen

Associate Director at Cooper Professional Education

Program Overview

The next ILA cohort will run from Sept 9 - Dec 6

Opening Intensive Workshop

You’ll be initiated into the program with an intensive, deeply practical 2-day workshop in New York City, Thurs, Sept 19 - Fri Sept 20. We’ll explore and practice facilitative leadership, team trust building, innovation frameworks, and more.

Biweekly Group Coaching

To make those lessons lasting and contextual to your work you’ll join a series of six group coaching calls to help you process your learnings and ask deeper questions. Mentors will host half of these sessions.

Expert Mentorship

To help you go deep and grow your leadership skills in ways that are intimate and valuable to your journey, we’re thrilled to include a series of virtual mentoring sessions from several expert practitioners.

Peer Coaching

In between the facilitated coaching and mentoring sessions, and in order to foster a supportive community within the ILA program, you’ll support one another within your designated peer coaching triads.

Closing Workshop

To consolidate your learnings and help you design your road ahead through hands-on, team-led application, the program will close with another highly immersive 2-day workshop in New York, Thurs, Dec 5 - Fri Dec 6.


The cost to join the program is $6,475.

There is a $100 deposit to apply for ILA. If your application is accepted, that will go toward the total cost of the program. If your application is not accepted for this cohort or your choose to decline your acceptance, your deposit will be returned to you.

Payment plans and limited scholarships are available.


Each cohort welcomes 18 highly curated participants.


Participants may be invited by the coaching committee, but all participants are asked to apply below in order to ensure fit with the program and community.

Applications for this cohort end on Friday, Aug 9.