Applications are now open and programme commences in October 2023.

Creating a Culture for Strategic Innovation

If you'd like to ask any questions about the programme you can book time for a call with Shay, Tangent's HCI Programme Manager 

Schedule a call
Qualification Certificate of Completion
Delivery Online
Duration Every Wednesday, 6 weeks, each 9-1pm
Course Dates Starting Wednesday, October 25th - December 6th (no class on Wednesday, November 1st)
Course Fees €950 per person;
Early bird rate: €750 by October 13th
Course Content Session 1: Emotional Intelligence for Leaders: Me at my best
Session 2: Emotional Intelligence for Leaders: My Team and relationships
Session 3: Storytelling for Business Success
Session 4: Team Dynamics
Session 5: Diversity and Unconscious Bias
Session 6: Greenhouse Showcase

Roundtable Discussion

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View on Tangent TV

Innovation is the currency of the future. It can help organisations stay agile, take risks and maintain competitive advantage. A culture of innovation is one where fresh perspectives are encouraged, where it is permitted to challenge the status quo and where new insights are celebrated and rewarded. Innovation processes are most effective when carried out by cross-functional teams. The culture of innovation extends to every function and level within an organisation and for it to be effective, individuals and teams must be motivated and incentivised to build the innovation capacity of an organisation.

Innovation can be messy and can require a degree of comfort with ambiguity. There are tools, processes and frameworks to guide us, but the most important element of any innovation is the people that drive it. Innovation comes about through the cross-fertilisation of disciplines, expertise and experience. This environment should be conducive to teams synthesizing diverse and sometimes competing ideas and articulating these in engaging and meaningful ways. In this programme, leaders will learn to create the environment for this to happen in a productive and positive manner.

What are the programme outcomes?

Specifically, this programme is designed for mid-senior leaders and will enable them to:

  • Foster a culture of innovation through empathetic, inclusive and collaborative leadership practices
  • Lead innovation initiatives within their organisation
  • Re-imagine the story of their organisation, its people and how they contribute to its future success 

Who is this programme for?

This programme is designed for mid-senior leaders who have an ambition or remit to become innovation ambassadors within their organisation – including but not limited to those with at least 3 years of people management experience. It is particularly suited to those wishing to provide space for new ideas through empathetic, inclusive and collaborative leadership practices. The programme does not assume any prior knowledge or training in the subject areas.

Who can I contact for more information about the Masterclass?

Contact: Shay Butler, HCI Programme Manager -


General Information

Session 1: Emotional Intelligence for Leaders – Me at my best
Develop the self-awareness that allows you to bring your finest self to work.

  • Self-awareness - preferences, values and emotions 
  • Self-management - resilience, peak performance, balance 

Reflection Question: If you had everything you needed to handle ambiguity and perform at your best, what problems could you solve at work?

Session 2: Emotional Intelligence for Leaders – My team and relationships
Build effective work practices that support your team, its members and their goals

  • Relationship management - praise, motivation, difficult dynamics, conflict navigation and repair 
  • Social awareness - empathy, passive resistance, response to change (SCARF model)
    • Status: Our relative importance to others
    • Certainty: Our ability to predict the future
    • Autonomy: Our sense of control over events
    • Relatedness: How safe we feel with others
    • Fairness: How fair we perceive exchanges between people to be.

Reflection Question: What’s the most important problem for you and your team to solve at work?

Session 3: Storytelling for Business Success
Tell stories of impact, stories that influence and inspire

  • An introduction to business storytelling 
  • The science of story
  • The skill of storytelling 
  • How we can use the strategic stories in our businesses going forward

Reflection Question: Following this programme, what is the most important story for you to tell in your organisation next?

Session 4: Team Dynamics
Become a high-performing, creative and innovative team

  • Team roles, the composition of membership and the team charter 
  • Team purpose and clarity - common goals, purpose and approach  
  • Communication, accountability and team culture  
  • The 5 dysfunctions of a team, and how to manage them 
  • Team trust, proving competence, integrity and benevolence

Reflection Question: If your team had everything they needed to perform at their best, what could they achieve?

Session 5: Diversity and Unconscious Bias
Create the space for more innovation and creativity in your work environment

  • Evidence - an examination of the evidence for bias and how it impacts our organisations
  • Awareness - exercises and tools for developing awareness of how bias impacts your thinking and decision making
  • Tools - introduction of tools to help mitigate harmful impacts of bias and create more diverse and inclusive workplaces 

Reflection Questions: What will you do in your daily activities to help mitigate the negative impacts of bias? What can you do to help your organisation confront ‘stinky fish’ problems?

This programme recognises that Innovation is not just about the tools and processes, it focuses on people and it starts with leaders like you. Designed by leading academics together with industry practitioners, this programme is delivered through 5 highly focused 4-hour Masterclass sessions delivered online by specialist industry consultants, facilitators and coaches. These Masterclasses offer a deep-dive and experiential look at the fundamental attributes of an inclusive and collaborative leader and how the core skills can be acquired and nurtured. Self-reflection and peer discussions will form a key component of each Masterclass, allowing time for the learnings to be absorbed and applied. Each 4-hour session shall include a 1-hour practically focused Greenhouse element.

In addition, the programme concludes with a 2-hour Greenhouse Showcase where participants can share, discuss and reflect on their own plans for fostering a culture of innovation in their organisation. 

A programme-closing Show-case event, where you shall communicate your ideas through the use of storytelling, and include steps for implementation. 
Following this, you will return to your organisation with a clear plan to address the challenge and a compelling narrative to share with others.

Every Wednesday, 6 weeks, each 9-1pm*, October 25th – December 6th
*Session 6: Greenhouse Showcase shall be 10-12pm

Jess Hayden,  BA, MSc

Jess is an organisational psychologist who works with clients who are trying to break boundaries. Jess helps prepare leaders and teams to withstand challenging situations at work and find their optimum performance environment using tools and evidence from emotional intelligence, decision-making and innovation research.


Lucy McKenna,  BA, MA 

Lucy is a learning designer, facilitator and coach, with a focus on innovation and change. Lucy has extensive experience designing impactful programmes that take individuals and teams on a journey from reflection to action. Drawing on research and tools from coaching and design she facilitates leaders to push outside their comfort zone and tackle challenges in innovative and creative ways.


Steve Rawling,  BA

With over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist, Steve knows how to make his message work on television and now helps clients like Google, Roche, the BBC, and IDEO to tell better stories about their work. Steve has worked with media companies, designers, innovators, charities, start-ups and CEOs across Europe.

The Creating a Culture for Strategic Innovation Programme showed me new skills and tools to progress innovative thinking and change in my team and my organisation.  The sessions on Bias and Problem-solving really got me thinking about how I view others and how changing or tailoring my approach can really have an effect on an outcome or situation.  The sessions on storytelling were a game changer - I will use the storytelling decks again and again.  Fantastic programme and highly recommended. 

Gwen Callanan, Cork City Council