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Catalyst Management Series – Excellence in Innovation

A new and wholly unique training programme for managers working in innovation, designed and tailor made for managers who want to go from ‘good’ to ‘great’.

Welcome to the Catalyst Management Series - Excellence in Innovation

Truly innovative organisations are inclusive organisations – cultivating and sustaining an inclusive culture is a part of the DNA of success when working with your people, and it needs an active approach. This programme is designed to empower managers to build a thriving workplace culture.

We spoke to the best minds and trainers in tech who have experiences in some of the biggest tech and corporate proving grounds in the world, including Google and Soundcloud. We’ve brought in the best to give you the best learning experience you can get today and it’s only available at Catalyst.

The Structure

3 months with 6 half-day workshops perfectly balanced between theory and practice. You’re not just going to learn the ‘why’, we’re going to show you the ‘how’ and to practically apply it to your organisation.

Meet the experts and your dedicated coaches

These interactive sessions will be led by experts Lucy McKenna and Jess Hayden Co-founders of The Brave Lab who challenge and guide people & organisations to be brave; brave enough to innovate, to learn, to journey through discomfort, and actively participate in creating a thriving world.

Lucy McKenna

Lucy McKenna

Co-Founder, Brave Labs

Lucy is a highly experienced learning designer, facilitator and coach. With extensive expe... read more
Lucy McKenna

Lucy McKenna

Co-Founder, Brave Labs

Lucy is a highly experienced learning designer, facilitator and coach. With extensive experience designing and delivering innovative programmes that inform, engage and build connections. Her experience is built over the last 20 years working in organisations such as Google, Aer Lingus and Eircom, in the areas of Learning & Development, Marketing, and Account Management. Having worked at Google for a decade in a period of rapid growth she thrives in fast paced ever changing environments with opportunities to embrace creative workforce solutions laying the foundations for their success. Post Google, she established her Learning & Development consultancy, working with organisations seeking to change how they are doing things, bringing their people with them and in 2021 Lucy co-created The Brave Lab with Jess Hayden.

Lucy has an MA in Interactive Media, a degree in Business Studies and is a certified coach. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at Trinity College Dublin teaching courses such as Climate Entrepreneurship, Healthcare Innovation and Innovation & Enterprise Development.

Most recently Lucy has been upskilling in the emerging field of Regenerative Leadership and has also completed training on Non-Violent Communication as an approach to improve dialogue between opposing viewpoints.

Jess Hayden

Jess Hayden

Co-Founder, Brave Labs

Jess is an organisational psychologist, experienced facilitator, coach and consultant. She... read more
Jess Hayden

Jess Hayden

Co-Founder, Brave Labs

Jess is an organisational psychologist, experienced facilitator, coach and consultant. She’s worked with tech-based start-ups, larger SMEs, global corporations, NGOs and public sector organisations across the globe in Dublin, London, Berlin, Sydney, San Francisco and New York. Driven by the fascination with helping teams answer the question: “What do you need to perform at your best, experiment and innovate?”

She was responsible for establishing the Learning and Development function for SoundCloud in Berlin before returning to Dublin to be Head of Programme Development at the Innovation Academy, UCD where she designed and delivered entrepreneurship and innovation programmes centred on the Design Thinking process. In 2016 Jess set up her own organisational development company, Elan Vital which evolved into The Brave Lab with her Co-Founder Lucy in 2021.

With thousands of hours in-person, online and hybrid facilitation experience, she utilises Design Thinking, Inclusive Innovation, Asset Based Community Development, and Neuroscience in her work to support client’s achievement of firsts.

Endlessly curious her research interests are in high-pressure decision making, interoceptive ability and creative problem solving. She is a qualified coach and reads extensively about research on leadership, teams, neuroscience and learning to inform her practice.

Who is the programme for?

This programme is for:

  • Managers who are already in leadership positions and want to strengthen their management skills in the context of innovation.
  • For individuals in management roles who are looking to upskill and improve their ability to drive innovation within their teams and organisations.
  • Additionally, this programme is suitable for aspiring managers who are eager to enhance their management skills and gain a competitive edge .

The Investment

£699 +VAT

This programme will be offered for a limited amount of spaces and will be offered on a first-come first-serve basis. A waitlist will be held for those who register when the programme is subscribed, so act and register now!

Programme Features

Interactive Workshops: All workshops will contain hands-on exercises working in pairs or teams.  We will draw on the expertise in the room to enhance the learning of all participants.

Peer Collaboration: A big part of this programme is the opportunity to network with and learn from like-minded managers from diverse industries in the Catalyst Community.

Real-world Applications: Between sessions, we will encourage you to apply learning through practical projects and experiments.

Playing with AI: Where it makes sense we will encourage the use of A.I to enhance learning and management approach. We will encourage experimentation throughout.

Feedback: As this is a pilot programme we will encourage you to provide us with feedback throughout.

Workshop details

  • Managing Innovative Teams – Wednesday 13th March & Wednesday 27th March

    This module, spanning two workshops, delves into creating and leading high-performing, innovative teams. Topics include defining high performance, establishing managerial foundations for success, and implementing tools to foster ongoing innovation in your management approach. You will be able to:


    • – Identify the characteristics of high performing teams vs. dysfunctional teams.
    • – Lay foundations for success: Developing team practices & norms.
    • – Understand the importance of building trust, creating psychological safety and promoting inclusive practices.
    • – Have tools for identifying team purpose.
    • – Understand how to create a culture of experimentation, feedback and continual learning.
    • – Have completed an analysis of your team performance.
  • Innovating in a Hybrid Work Environment – Wednesday 10th April

    Explore key skills and strategies to thrive in today’s hybrid work environment, commonly adopted by innovative organizations working within teams or with clients. After this workshop, you will:


    • – Have identified the most effective ways to manage complex human interactions such as problem exploration, ideation, solution building and testing and feedback.
    • – Be able to explain the role of trust and how to build it with your colleagues & clients.
    • – Be able to facilitate effective hybrid meetings in a way that gets your message across,  engages people, allows for experimentation and is inclusive.
    • – Have identified ways in which you can assert yourself, ensure your ideas are heard and stand out in a virtual environment.
  • Productive Conflict – Wednesday 24th April

    Conflict is vital for innovation, serving as a form of collaboration. This workshop guides you in turning conflicts into productive outcomes, teaching skills like creating win-win solutions, building rapport, and assertive communication. After this workshop, you will:


    • – Understand the Thomas Kilman Conflict Model and identify your default conflict mode.
    • – Identify where bias might show up in difficult conversations.
    • – Be able to prepare for and initiate challenging discussions that build connections.
    • – Practice giving feedback constructively, and handle emotions and reactions.
    • – Learn how to identify underlying needs and interests, find common ground, and create agreements that work for everyone involved.
  • Wellbeing in the Workplace – Wednesday 8th May

    Tailored for managers and team leaders, this program enhances skills and boosts confidence to effectively support team members dealing with mental health issues. After this workshop, you will:


    • – Why mental health matters in the workplace
    • – Stages of mental health support
    • – Management and employee responsibilities
    • – Working from home and hybrid working
    • – Having a safe and supportive conversation with an employee in the workplace
    • – Help, support and signposting
  • Presenting Compelling Stories – Wednesday 22nd May

    In this workshop, we leverage the science of storytelling to craft memorable presentations. By tapping into the psychology of storytelling, we enhance audience retention of key points, particularly when introducing new concepts.  After this workshop, you will:


    • – Understand the science of storytelling, what is happening in the brain and what makes a story memorable.
    • – Practise using ways to build engagement, clarity and emphasis through your presentations.
    • – Practise using tools to create a compelling story.
    • – Practise creating and presenting skills in small groups.
  • Graduation – Wednesday 5th June

    The work is done, you’ve completed the series and now it’s time to celebrate with your peers.

Contact the team for any queries

Niamh Griffin

Niamh Griffin

Head of Community

Niamh Griffin is the Head of Community at Catalyst responsible for leading a team supporti... read more
Niamh Griffin

Niamh Griffin

Head of Community

Niamh Griffin is the Head of Community at Catalyst responsible for leading a team supporting and enabling the Catalyst on Campus Community of entrepreneurs and innovators, from start-ups to multi-nationals making it easier for them to flourish and thrive. Whereby being a part of Catalyst actively contributes to their business success.

Before joining Catalyst in April 2022, Niamh held senior roles in financial services in UK, NI and Republic of Ireland with responsibility for strategy, growth & development, technology migration, product design and management, marketing, and the design and implementation of customer, sector and market engagement strategies for business growth.

A passionate advocate for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion she is an active founder of a LeanIn Circle, fundraiser for NIPANC, Alzheimer’s and is a Mental Health First Aider.

Niamh is a graduate of Ulster University business school from the Digital Ready Leaders Programme, Technological University Dublin in Rural Tourism, Marketing & Management and UCD with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and German.

Hannah Rooney

Hannah Rooney

Community Coordinator

Hannah is the community coordinator at Catalyst, she works with the wider community team t... read more
Hannah Rooney

Hannah Rooney

Community Coordinator

Hannah is the community coordinator at Catalyst, she works with the wider community team to support them with their goal of nurturing the power of community to create spaces for start-ups to grow together.

Before catalyst, Hannah worked in the early careers and student space at Ulster University and law firm Allen and Overy where she supported on the growth of solicitor apprenticeships. Hannah is also an alum of Ulster University recently completing her master’s in international Event Management.

Hannah spent some time working in Washington DC working for labour union Liuna in their strategic comms department, as part of the Washington Ireland class of 2018 which is a programme that focuses on leadership development of young people on the island of Ireland.

She has also just recently completed her CIPD Level 5 Diploma in People Management.

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