Creative. Courageous. Curious. Those are some of the hallmarks of innovators, and these are the people Gwenn Peters wants to mentor.
Gwenn is more than an innovation leader; she’s an innovation enabler. Her focus is not on what she personally can create – but how she can remove barriers and make connections so others can pursue their ideas.
“People who want to disrupt the status quo might assume that corporations are too bureaucratic and slow to make something happen,” Gwenn said. “I challenge those people to think differently. As a larger company, we bring together immense domain expertise, partner networks, and the muscle of human and financial capital.”
The goal, Gwenn said, is to combine the agility of a start-up with the knowledge and resources of a corporation to inspire problem solving in new ways. Gwenn manages innovation programs designed to do just that, including:
- Innovation Challenge: This competitive event asks teams pitch their ideas for senior leader sponsorship for implementation.
- Bounty: A non-competitive program surfaces business needs for employees to tackle at their pace to capture a reward.
Gwenn is a connector between internal and external innovation.
“Being part of a strong innovation ecosystem is important for growth,” said Gwenn. “As a founding sponsor of the MKE Tech Coalition, we work to grow tech work in the region through digital transformation, reskilling existing workers, building a freelance community, supporting K-12 STEM, and accelerating local startup growth.