Innovation Think Tanks & Trainings

Think Like A Startup 90-minute “Think Tanks” and “Own Your Narrative” trainings are facilitated for large enterprises, associations, educational institutions and impact organizations. Play VideoStart Here

THINK TANKS IN ACTION

 

#CorporateThinkTank for Clorox

#CorporateThinkTank for CDW

THINK TANKS

“Re-Invention or Extinction – CHOOSE”

Corporate Innovation Think Tank

The vast majority of leaders are looking in the rear-view mirror to determine their path FORWARD. In today’s brave new world, enterprises are Goliath, with tech startups playing the part of David. These Davids have paradigm shifting ideas, and no industries are safe from their onslaught of innovation.

In days past, this threat was small and manageable – a handful of Davids. TODAY? You have a million hungry Davids piling up at the gate, with a bull’s eye on your back, and next year you’ll have two million, each with a new idea and a new technology that threatens to slice off a piece of your pie. The writing is on the wall, and the demise of big brands who have been unable to adapt to this new environment has already begun.

To survive and avoid extinction, enterprises must adopt an entirely new methodology and business approach, NOW. Time is running out, and the threat is imminent. Learn how to think like startups, or be rendered extinct by them.

  • Company employees
  • Company managers
  • Company executives
  • Think Like A Startup is a 90-minute “think tank” style workshop facilitated for large enterprises, in rooms with anywhere between 25 – 500+ employees
  • The room is broken up into small 5-10 person groups (depending on size of overall session), with a leader selected for each group
  • The manufactured environment is designed with time constraints, unexpected changes to group dynamics, and it forces participants to quickly identify, categorize, prioritize and crowd-source identification of problems and solutions as a team
  • Participants identify and align on the THREE most impactful, measurable solutions the company could implement to deal with the top challenge that they identified the company is facing in creating an “innovation culture”
  • To make the solutions “measurable,” the answers each group leader gives are publicly challenged, until they are left with tangible structures that THEY articulated, which the company can literally implement TOMORROW, not just general “good ideas”
  • While we are working on real, tangible challenges the company is facing, and the solutions to those challenges in real-time, the real focus in the background is on the process we are using TO work through these issues and identify tangible next action steps, with velocity
  • This process is one that the company can use going forward in small or large group settings to identify unique business challenges, and source actionable business solutions, within hours
  • All of this happens in as little as 90 minutes

“Association Relevance & Member Engagement”

Association Relevance Think Tank

The pace of life is NOW. Our world frantically revolves around buzz words, tweets, posts, and shares. Our attention is dominated by ever increasing amounts of invitations, offers, and requests, vying for our limited supply of time and focus.

In a world where offers for limitless amounts of information and access are literally at our fingertips, associations that have thrived for generations are, many for the first time, truly having to ask themselves a few honest questions. “Are we still relevant?” “Why?” “How long before we’re not?” These are tough, humbling questions to ask, but they ARE the questions to ask.

The most important area of focus for an association executive right now is relevance, and a close second, which is a reflection of number one, is member engagement. So how does an association uproot years of deeply entrenched organizational habits and practices, to turn the titanic into a nimble speedboat? By learning how to think like a startup, and learning how to leverage its people and resources in incredible new ways. Welcome to your 2nd act.

  • Association executives
  • Staff
  • Members
  • Community partners
  • Funders
  • Think Like A Startup is a 90-minute “think tank” style workshop facilitated for associations, in rooms with anywhere between 25 – 500+ attendees
  • The room is broken up into small 5-10 person groups (depending on size of overall session), with a leader selected for each group
  • The manufactured environment is designed with time constraints, unexpected changes to group dynamics, and it forces participants to quickly identify, categorize, prioritize and crowd-source identification of problems and solutions as a team
  • Participants identify and align on the THREE most impactful, measurable solutions that could be implemented to deal with the top challenge that they identified the association must surmount in order to stay relevant and keep members engaged
  • To make the solutions “measurable,” the answers each group leader gives are publicly challenged, until they are left with tangible structures that THEY articulated, which the association can literally implement TOMORROW, not just general “good ideas”
  • While we are working on real, tangible challenges the association is facing, and the solutions to those challenges in real-time, the real focus in the background is on the process we are using TO work through these issues and identify tangible next action steps, with velocity
  • This process is one that the association can use going forward in small or large group settings to identify unique business challenges, and source actionable solutions, within hours
  • All of this happens in as little as 90 minutes

“Cracking the Code on Diversity & Inclusion in Tech”

Diversity & Inclusion Think Tank

“We create more information now in 2 days than we did from the dawn of man through 2003.” This is a now famous quote made several years ago by Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google.

Said simply, new technology developments, both software and hardware, are changing the face of global business, government, health care, transportation, energy, you name it. Technology is proliferating so quickly that in some areas in the world, it is easier to get access to a smart phone than running water.

Technology is an industry that cultivates some of the smartest people in the world, building some of the most successful and sought after companies in the world, with access to unlimited capital, resources and reach. In THIS industry, when we’re building self-driving cars and reusable space rockets, how is it that for decades, the unsolvable problem has been…diversity and inclusion? At some point, when we move beyond intention, when we move beyond simply questioning motives, we must acknowledge that perhaps what needs to be questioned is our METHODS.

To truly identify the core issues with respect to diversity and inclusion in tech, and the highest impact, actionable, measurable solutions for surmounting this challenge, it’s time to consider that perhaps an entirely new methodology and approach is needed. Is the #DandIThinkTank that solution, or simply a pathway to discovering that solution? That’s for you and your organization to decide. What we offer is a tangible way to do something distinctly different, that will produce actionable, measurable solutions in 90 minutes, that are unique from what we’ve all seen not working and not moving the needle for the last 2 decades.

  • Founders of emerging tech startups
  • Investors in your city’s tech ecosystem
  • Executives in your city’s technology focused companies
  • Professionals working in technology focused companies in your city
  • Students in an area university
  • Other stakeholders in your city’s technology ecosystem (advisors, press, civic leaders, etc)
  • Think Like A Startup is a 90-minute “think tank” style workshop facilitated for D&I focused organizations, in rooms with anywhere between 25 – 200+ attendees
  • The room is broken up into small 5-10 person groups (depending on size of overall session), with a leader selected for each group
  • The manufactured environment is designed with time constraints, unexpected changes to group dynamics, and it forces participants to quickly identify, categorize, prioritize and crowd-source identification of problems and solutions as a team
  • Participants identify and align on the THREE most impactful, measurable solutions that could be implemented to deal with the top challenge they identified that their city’s tech ecosystem is facing, as it relates to D&I
  • To make the solutions “measurable,” the answers each group leader gives are publicly challenged, until they are left with tangible structures that THEY articulated, which the stakeholders in the room can literally implement TOMORROW, not just general “good ideas”
  • While we are working on real, tangible D&I challenges your city is facing, and the solutions to those challenges in real-time, the real focus in the background is on the process we are using TO work through these issues and identify tangible next action steps, with velocity
  • This process is one that organizations can use going forward in small or large group settings to identify unique challenges, and source actionable solutions, within hours
  • All of this happens in as little as 90 minutes

“Town Hall 2.0”

Town Hall Think Tank

Your organization’s success lives in narratives. Your “brand” is the narrative that customers and business connections outside of your four walls hold about the organization. Your “culture” is the narrative that your employees, and everyone inside your four walls holds about the organization.

Every single person affiliated with the organization internally, from board members, to executives, to managers, to leaders of employee advocacy groups, to skilled and non-skilled employees, all have a unique perspective, based on their role. They have varying viewpoints on what the current culture of the organization is, what it “should be,” what’s working and what’s not, and what the best path forward is for the organization, with respect to culture. To truly create a transformational shift as an organization, all stakeholders must have a voice, and a seat at the table, as peers, not superiors vs subordinates.

Town Hall 2.0 creates an environment where every stakeholder on every level of the organization is present and in the room when challenges are identified and discussed, and solutions are explored and selected. Within hours, this creates the space for a level of immediate buy-in and ownership of the success of agreed upon solutions from moment one, across every aspect of the organization, that would take months or years to achieve otherwise, if achieved at all.

This methodology can be applied to any industry and organization, because for any large company, organization or institution with long-standing, deeply entrenched habits and practices, a paradigm shift is occurring in the marketplace. Organizations that are unable to make the transition, and keep pace with new ways of problem solving quickly through community and collaboration, will face extinction.

  • Board members
  • C-Level executives
  • Management (local, regional, national)
  • Internal leaders for employee advocacy groups
  • Skilled employees
  • Non-skilled employees
  • Think Like A Startup is a 90-minute “think tank” style workshop facilitated for enterprise organizations that have, or want to create a feedback focused internal culture, in rooms with anywhere between 25 – 500+ stakeholders
  • The room is broken up into small 5-10 person groups (depending on size of overall session), with a leader selected for each group
  • The manufactured environment is designed with time constraints, unexpected changes to group dynamics, and it forces participants to quickly identify, categorize, prioritize and crowd-source identification of problems and solutions as a team
  • Participants identify and align on the THREE most impactful, measurable solutions that could be implemented to deal with the top challenge they identified that their organization is facing, as it relates to the culture it is trying to build
  • To make the solutions “measurable,” the answers each group leader gives are publicly challenged, until they are left with tangible structures that THEY articulated, which the stakeholders in the room can literally implement TOMORROW, not just general “good ideas”
  • While we are working on real, tangible challenges the company is facing, and the solutions to those challenges in real-time, the real focus in the background is on the process we are using TO work through these issues and identify tangible next action steps, with velocity
  • This process is one that the company can use going forward in small or large group settings to identify unique business challenges, and source actionable business solutions, within hours
  • All of this happens in as little as 90 minutes

“HBCUs At Risk”

HBCU Relevance & Financial Solvency Think Tank

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) all around the nation are facing critical issues with respect to relevance and financial solvency that are threatening their ability to keep their doors open. For generations of achievers in communities of color, HBCUs have played a critical role in laying a foundation for their personal and professional success, as well as that of their parents, and their grandparents before them.

This #ThinkLikeAStartup Think Tank pays homage to this rich legacy. #HBCUsAtRisk focuses on keeping the tradition of our HBCUs around for generations to come, by crowd-sourcing the top challenges and actionable solutions for keeping HBCUs relevant and financially solvent, directly from the minds and mouths of the people in the community who are committed to doing just that, and are uniquely positioned to carry out the task at hand.

  • Current students enrolled in a registered HBCU
  • Alumni of a registered HBCU
  • Faculty & staff members of a registered HBCU
  • Civic leaders who understand and appreciate the role and importance of HBCUs in the Black community
  • Community members who are HBCU supporters, and seek to contribute to the rich legacy and tradition of HBCUs being present in their city
  • Think Like A Startup is a 90-minute “think tank” style workshop facilitated for HBCUs, in rooms with anywhere between 25 – 100+ attendees
  • The room is broken up into small 5-10 person groups (depending on size of overall session), with a leader selected for each group
  • The manufactured environment is designed with time constraints, unexpected changes to group dynamics, and it forces participants to quickly identify, categorize, prioritize and crowd-source identification of problems and solutions as a team
  • Participants identify and align on the THREE most impactful, measurable solutions that could be implemented to deal with the top challenge that they identified the HBCU must surmount in order to stay relevant and keep the institution financially solvent
  • To make the solutions “measurable,” the answers each group leader gives are publicly challenged, until they are left with tangible structures that THEY articulated, which the HBCU can literally implement TOMORROW, not just general “good ideas”
  • While we are working on real, tangible challenges the HBCU is facing, and the solutions to those challenges in real-time, the real focus in the background is on the process we are using TO work through these issues and identify tangible next action steps, with velocity
  • This process is one that the company can use going forward in small or large group settings to identify unique business challenges, and source actionable solutions, within hours
  • All of this happens in as little as 90 minutes

“Eliminate the Founder Funding Disparity”

Capital Think Tank

Since the stat first came out in 2010, it has been consistently trumpeted that founders of color receive less than 1% of venture backed investment capital. If you are familiar with diversity and inclusion efforts in technology, chances are that you’ve been to dozens of panels over the years, discussing all the many speculations for why this problem exists, from every angle.

We believe that it’s time to stop simply discussing what we all know is the problem, and start charging ourselves with the responsibility to come up with tangible, actionable solutions, regardless of whether or not any outside support presents itself. The #CapitalThinkTank takes a hard line – SO WHAT, we’re not getting VC dollars. Now what are WE going to do to create access to capital for founders of color anyway.

  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs (early stage and seasoned)
  • Non-traditional capital seeker
  • Someone with game changing ideas on leveraging capital resources
  • Think Like A Startup is a 90-minute “think tank” style workshop facilitated for impact organizations, in rooms with anywhere between 25 – 100+ attendees
  • The room is broken up into small 5-10 person groups (depending on size of overall session), with a leader selected for each group
  • The manufactured environment is designed with time constraints, unexpected changes to group dynamics, and it forces participants to quickly identify, categorize, prioritize and crowd-source identification of problems and solutions as a team
  • Participants identify and align on the THREE most impactful, measurable solutions that could be implemented right away to deal with the top challenge that they identified that founders of color are facing in that city, with regard to accessing capital
  • To make the solutions “measurable,” the answers each group leader gives are publicly challenged, until they are left with tangible structures that THEY articulated, which the leaders in attendance can literally implement TOMORROW, not just general “good ideas”
  • While we are working on real, tangible challenges that Founders of color are facing, and the solutions to those challenges in real-time, the real focus in the background is on the process we are using TO work through these issues and identify tangible next action steps, with velocity
  • This process is one that the attendees can take back to their own organizations and communities, and use going forward in small or large group settings to identify unique challenges, and source actionable solutions, within hours
  • All of this happens in as little as 90 minutes

TLAS TRAINING

“Own Your Narrative”

Discover. Define. Test. Monitor. Assess. Shape.

Fundamentally, startups are in the business of narratives. Startups have to be thinking about a very particular thing, all the time; quickly winning the hearts and minds of strangers. This means identifying prevailing narratives in the marketplace that currently compel their customers to buy competitive products, and offering a new and compelling narrative for their product. THE BEST NARRATIVE WINS.

Whether you know it or not, you are also in the business of narratives. There ARE narratives that already exist about your company or organization…some you know, and some you don’t. The narrative that customers and other business connections hold about your organization defines your “brand,” and the narrative that your employees hold about your organization defines your culture.

Plan as you might, but the best your organization will ever do is impact the internal and external narratives that define your brand and culture, but they must be accepted by everyone who is connected to your organization to actually take form. Ultimately, you are who THEY say you are.

  • Executive leadership
  • Management (local, regional, national)
  • Internal marketing and sales teams
  • Internal customer experience teams
  • A high level “Own Your Narrative” training can be delivered in as little as 5 minutes, or it can be presented as a more interactive deep dive conversation and presentation, facilitated in 30 minutes or 60 minutes

In order to truly impact the narrative that customers and business connections hold about you outside the four walls of your organization (brand), and that your employees hold about you internally (culture), you must own your organization’s narrative.

There are 6 things your organization must do in order to own its narrative:

  • Discover the narrative
  • Define the narrative
  • Test the narrative
  • Monitor the narrative
  • Assess the narrative
  • Shape the narrative

Attendees will walk away with a clear understanding of what the 6 things are that they must do for the organization to own its narrative, and more importantly, HOW to do them.

MEETING PLANNERS

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#CorporateThinkTank – Detailed Overview

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#AssociationRelevance Think Tank – Detailed Overview

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#CapitalThinkTank – Detailed Overview

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#OwnYourNarrative Training – Detailed Overview

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#HBCUsAtRisk Think Tank – Detailed Overview

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#TownHall2.0 Think Tank – Detailed Overview

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