Build Entrepreneurial Cultures

This Aspen Impact ideation session generated sketches of services an enterprise could offer to future customers

This Aspen Impact ideation session generated sketches of services an enterprise could offer to future customers

An entrepreneurial spirit moves teams to generate creative breakthroughs and delight customers. Teams at Pixar generate ideas in a free-flowing conversational atmosphere and conjure up funny and beloved movies like Toys, Ratatouille, and WALL-E. Venture capital firms such as Khosla Ventures and Accel partner with designers-in-residence to launch companies like Etsy, GitLab, and Supercell that reach valuations in the billions of dollars. Nonprofit organizations such as Goodwill, Ashoka, and charity:water transform peoples’ lives while telling compelling stories and running sustainable operations. How do these enterprises stimulate and sustain ingenuity across their teams?

Your organization has the ability to innovate on three levels:

You can introduce products, solutions, and organizational processes that are incrementally different from what you do today, use what you already have to pivot in a new direction, or generate something radically different for you and your marketplace or community.


We apply our Framework for Ingenuity to guide teams toward creative new approaches:

Ingenuity Framework.png

Your teams can use this framework and our guided activities to cultivate an engaged, creative, open-minded atmosphere that advances business and social impact goals.

One powerful catalyst for ingenuity is the definition and resolution of Design Challenges. These are “how might we” prompts that encourage the re-framing of problems and opportunities to generate promising solutions. Design Challenges are most effective when they follow a research phase that reveals insights about customers or employees’ everyday wishes and frustrations, changes in the competitive landscape, new funding opportunities, and other personal and systemic factors.

You can also upgrade your office and field spaces to stimulate individual creativity, engage teams, and draw attention to the enterprise’s mission and strategy. We provide guidance on room design, furniture, color, textures, and other elements that can spur ingenuity.

We teach and apply skills and mindsets that are based in concepts from human-centered design, design thinking, and design action. Our team draws upon experience running several hundred projects that have combined business strategy with design sensibilities and techniques to achieve breakthroughs.