Woman in Leadership

The Mind of an Innovator: A Woman’s Guide to Seeing Possibilities Beyond the Glass Ceiling


Change the psychological orientation from accepting ‘what is’ to designing what could be’ to give women an edge. Participants adopt a creative thinking  mindset and apply an ‘anything is possible’ attitude to their work situations.

Every segment of the day is structured in a ‘demo then do’ format so that each theory or tool is introduced, then practiced for experiential learning.

Two days are formulated into four parts that build upon each other:

Part One: Developing an Innovator’s Mindset
Part Two: Greater Self-Knowledge vis-à-vis ILA Profile
Part Three: Crafting a Vision of the Future
Part Four: Making it Happen


2 days


The day begins with a short case study of Susan, a Dean of an International
Business School.  It is a lead-in to discuss the myth of having it all. The takeaway is that you can have anything you want, but you can’t have
everything you want. This leads into a whole group discussion of the challenges and roadblocks women often face that inhibit them from achieving what they want in the workplace. A thorough list is captured to refer to later in applying the creative thinking skills.

Part One: Developing an Innovator’s Mindset

All exercises are done at flip charts with participants taking turns facilitating their subgroups. After reviewing some ground rules for thinking outside-the-box we’ll cover:

  • Random Stimulus
  • Concepts vs. ideas
  • Challenging the Status Quo

Part Two: Women’s Innovation Leadership Assessment

Participants learn their ILA profiles to raise awareness of their strengths
and areas of development in their approach to thinking, impression
management and their ability to translate boundary-less thinking into
reality. Of 12 characteristics measured, self-confidence, assertiveness and
political savvy are three critical areas in which women statistically score

Part Three: Crafting the Vision

Common female behaviors, such as aiming to please, are addressed to avoid undermining the ability to command respect. Through fishbowl roleplays, participants focus on the developmental areas in the ILA profiles,
addressing such characteristics as self-confidence and assertiveness. The
skill building focuses on ways to set boundaries, self-promote with subtlety, and using leading questions to guide interactions favorably. The actual roleplays are specifically customized according to the most common areas for development raised in the ILAs.

Four: Making it Happen

Since work performance is not always related to career advancement, it is
important to actively manage one’s career. A focus on political savvy will
provide an opportunity to build a network/stakeholder map, followed by a
conversational technique that uses emotional intelligence to build bridges
with others. An action plan is is then formulated to fully utilize the
resources available to enhance participants’ careers and life goals.

At the end of the day they will choose a “buddy’ with whom they will
contract to share their development plans and will make a series of followup
appointments with each other to enhance accountability as well as build
their network. They write their vision and place it in a self-addressed
envelope, which is mailed back to them three months later as a reminder.

The day ends with each participant presenting to the larger group, with
certainty and conviction, their commitment to design their career rather
than make a living. They will come away not only with a set of skilled
techniques to think outside the box, but also with a deep knowledge that it
is their right to claim their power on their own terms rather than to others’