Equip leaders and teams to innovate, build new skills and confidence, and discover and design new sources of growth.

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Custom Workshops

Let’s custom-design your unique program together.

Your Organization is Unique.

Your team is one of a kind. Your innovation requirements represent the gap between your ambition and aptitude. If your appetite for growth exceeds your current capabilities or resources, we know how to help.

We will work with you, your sponsors, and your team to learn about your aspirations, diagnose past and current efforts, and determine the best path forward. Maybe it’s a workshop. Maybe it’s organization design. Maybe it’s about doing some project work together to learn along the way.

Our standard workshops readily customize to your organization or event; use them independently, or as modules within your larger curriculum or meeting schedule. And we can design your specific programs.

Core lessons can also be delivered as a 30, 60, or 90-minute keynote presentation or interactive plenary lecture.

Innovation Foundations

Start with the building blocks of innovation.

Defy the Myths of Innovation

Innovation demands special skills applied in unique configuration to produce reliable results while mitigating risk. Most people do the job of delivering this quarter’s revenue. A select few are equipped to discover and design tomorrow’s new sources of revenue. Confront misconceptions that keep old firms from acting young, and good firms from getting great. Read More

Think Big, Act Small

Large organizations fall victim to the calcification of scale – reinforcing investments in the status quo and failing Darwin’s critical insight: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Learn from your own origin stories, and the lessons of Silicon Valley, to cultivate your adaptability to capture new niches. Read More

Start Up again

Successful firms grow from an original wave of innovation that can become its own barrier to future growth. Plot the path used by great innovators return to their entrepreneurial roots to produce new sources of profitable revenue. Read More

Four Tiers of Timeless Innovation

Learn the “full stack”—best practices to establish a comprehensive growth agenda, with a complementary system and culture of innovation. Translate your goals into an innovation strategy, apply disciplined methods to design both adaptive and breakthrough innovations, and build the capabilities that drive innovation into the DNA of your business. Read More

Growth Strategy

Smart Growth

The most effective model for serial innovation is not practiced by a company. It is played out by the ecosystem of Silicon Valley. Learn how to replicate the intersection of smart ideas, smart managers, smart money and smart markets that have shifted the economic center of gravity for the 21st century. Learn from the premiere pitches and pitch deck format from Sequoia Capital. Read More

Map Your Ecosystem

We all operate in a complex, interconnected ecosystem of organizations in the physical world, linked through flows and stores of supply, energy, talent, technology, and transaction. Map your ecosystem for an omniscient perspective; optimize your growth while anticipating the implications of the many moving parts that make up our four-dimensional chess match. Read More

Build Your renaissance Company

The world only gets smaller, flatter, faster. Successful organizations adapt at the rate of the market, and bring together the still rare combination of talents— creative with cognitive, lofty imagination applied with tactical rigor. Learn which muscles your organization must develop to build a versatile renaissance company. Combine art and science. Innovate like Leonardo. Read More

Enter the Metaverse

Business leaders face a dizzying array of emerging technologies. The Metaverse stands apart. It’s not an application on the internet. It IS the internet—the future immersive worldwide web in 3D—the ecosystem in which all these other technologies may play a part. Gartner forecasts that each of us will consume at least an hour per day in The Metaverse by 2026 — and this seems like a wild underestimate when you define The Metaverse as the next phase of the internet. Read More

define the nine

An array of strategies guide your business at different levels of operation and internal and external focus. How are they produced, and by whom? What guiding purpose, principles and premises align your efforts? You will learn about the Nine Strategies Framework, to ensure that your growth is properly balanced and executed as a single team on a shared mission. Read More

Elevate Your Growth Agenda

Innovation balances your growth between today’s priorities and tomorrow’s emerging opportunities. Integrate your business and innovation strategies into a staged growth agenda and series of interrelated projects to ensure that everyone is aligned around the right priorities. Welcome the productive tension between present and future, and manage trade-offs as a natural requirement of balanced growth. Read More

Find the Future First

How did novelist Jules Verne foresee so many of the next century’s technological marvels with astounding acuity? How can we harness the tools of big data analytics to anticipate social, scientific, and economic phenomena to find the future first, and show up best? Read More

Catch the Sixth Wave

Consider how successive waves of innovation propelled us from a shivering naked ape to our planet’s most pernicious alpha predator. As the sixth waves rolls toward us, how will you organization harness it to salvage the very future that we have created through unlimited ambition, but threatened by limited vision. Tap into the trends that can propel your future growth. Harness the sixth wave. Read More

Chart Your 8 Step Innovation Strategy

How do you plan for innovation? How do you determine where to focus, what to explore, and how to pursue the unknown without incurring unknown risk? Ampersand’s 8-step method makes it easy, understandable, and repeatable. Read More

Invasive Species – Overwhelm Your Market

What can kudzu teach us about conquering new markets? Learn from polymath observer Henry King to emulate the success strategies of biology’s most disruptive innovators. Naturally. Read More

Innovation Design

Innovate in 4D

Welcome to the AMPERSAND Design Thinking Certificate Program. Apply the four-phase design method to produce real innovations. Your teams will explore case examples to Define, Discover, Design, and Deploy an effective solution to serve actual customer needs. The 4-day workshop can be conducted live or virtually, as an overview for executives, or as a staged series of sessions to guide and coach teams on actual innovation projects. Read More

Embrace Empathy

So many companies compete to serve the blindingly obvious requirements, but never get to the heart of human needs. This requires deep empathy to uncover user behaviors, revealing underlying beliefs. Learn from our anthropology team – field experts in ethnographic research –  how to uncover the deeper needs of your current or future customers. Read More

Sell with Empathy

Empathy means understanding your buyer’s needs, in context to serve, not simply sell. Who is your most trusted advisor? Your physician? Why? Because she is not trying to “sell” you. She’s trying to heal you. This program offers you thoughtful methods to diagnose needs, discover aspirations, analyze surrounding circumstances, and meet the underlying requirements of both your buyer and their business. Become your customer’s most trusted advisor and resource. Read More

Break the Iron Triangle

Time, Cost and Quality present the iron triangle of project management, setting boundaries that constrain innovation. Learn how to identify these often unspoken barriers, and learn from familiar case examples for new strategies to break through them. Read More

10 Types of Innovation

Correct the skewed view of innovation—from a myopic focus on new products—to a more expansive and more valuable combination of elements across your value chain. This workshop illustrates the Ten Types of Innovation with insightful cases. Participants apply these lessons to your own design challenges to assemble comprehensive and differentiating innovation concepts. Read More

Human Interaction Design

Your business responds to market changes exactly as Newton hypothesized – with an equal and opposite reaction. What can Yo Yo Ma, Hellen Keller, and sumo wrestlers teach us about configuring your business, your products, your systems, your people and your customers to interact effortlessly? Read More

Craft Your Customer Journey

Every one of your buyer and end users experience you at key stages throughout your relationship. How can you design a comprehensive and consistent cycle of delight? How do you attract the uninitiated to consider a trial? How do you welcome them at the point of entry? Design every touchpoint in their journey, building a reflexive memory, bond, and evangelism for your brand. Read More

SPRINT: Fast Hack Prototype

Take a shortcut. Sprint through the design cycle using this 5-day hackathon model made famous by Google Ventures. Teams go from a cold start to a working model in one week, or over a staged series of five working sessions. Read More

Innovation Capabilities

Assess Your Innovation Capabilities

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Propel Growth

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Organize to Innovate

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Formulate Change

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Let’s build something great together.