Equip leaders and teams to innovate, build new skills and confidence, and discover and design new sources of growth.
Design your own system
CUSTOM DESIGN a program or a complete curriculum to meet your exact needs, or transform the organization with a comprehensive HUMAN PERFORMANCE SYSTEM.
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We look forward to hearing from you!
Start with the building blocks of innovation.
Innovation is everyone’s job. Right? WRONG! 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.
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 founders’ origin stories, and the lessons of Silicon Valley, to cultivate your adaptability to capture new niches. Small and midsize entities can discover their best trajectory to accelerate growth or impact, based on the lessons of large enterprise.
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.
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.
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.
Use innovation methods to discover new sources of growth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Now the real work of creating the new.
Welcome to the AMPERSAND Design Thinking Certificate Program.
Apply the four-phase design method to produce a real innovation. 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.
Nearly ninety percent of an iceberg’s mass lies submerged below sight – just like the unstated and often unrecognized yearnings, angst and formative desires of your users. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
INNOVATION CULTURE & CAPABILITIES
Position your organization to innovate as a differentiating competence.
Assess your organization’s current level of innovation competence. Know where you stand and where you need to go. Chart specific actions to build your capabilities across five tiers of competence.
Match clarity of purpose to market opportunity – supply meets demand. Discover and apply the five elements of the Propeller Model™ to align your organization for effective innovation. Participants will diagnose their organizations’ current capacity for innovation, and develop a prescriptive approach to build a world-class competence for innovation from the top down and the bottom up.
Learn how serial innovators, from Edison’s GE to Jobs’ Apple, organize to drive innovation as the essence of their growth strategy. The first step is breaking through the permafrost that locks your people from delivering your full potential.
Only people can drive change in your organization. And people reject change unless four specific conditions are met. Apply the change formula (A+V+B+P) > C ™ to compel your people to adopt and act on innovation as a core competence. Don’t mandate change. Make it the best and most obvious choice.
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.
We will begin with a capabilities assessment. Then work through the fundamentals, or take it from the top by defining your growth agenda. We will work with you to match your needs to the best curriculum.
Our standard workshops readily customize to your organization or event; use them independently, or as modules within your larger curriculum or meeting schedule. And of course we would be happy to design your own programs, specific to your needs.
Key lessons from your preferred workshop can also be delivered as a 30, 60 or 90-minute keynote presentation or interactive plenary lecture.
HUMAN PERFORMANCE SYSTEM
Build a complete system to grow your business—and your people!
Education gives you understanding. Training gives you skills. But how do you instill commitment? How do you motivate action? How do you promote collaboration and mutual support? Ultimately, how can you create a virtuous cycle of ever-improving performance?
Ampersand brings you expertise in organization design, change management, and human performance development. We work with you to understand your vision, translate it into growth goals and assess the organization’s ability to deliver.
In time, every organization becomes a complex network. Even the best-intended people can be stymied by outdated rules and systems. Even the most skilled operators get tangled in unnecessary complexity. Eventually, even the most inspirational leaders can find their messages fall on deaf ears.
Our analysis shows you that these common flaws are readily identified, and systems put in place to clarify the mission, liberate your talent, equip your people, and build a growth engine of dedicated teams. Your customers bring you more customers. Your people find fulfillment. Your shareholders thank you.
Tell us about your goals and frustrations. We’ll get you started with a diagnosis to recommend the best path forward.